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Are they claiming that installing local spyware is somehow more secure than if they just used third party cookies to track their users usage?

I mean its bad enough that an ad network knows when you goto a participating site, but this would have access to so much more. With zero benefit over using the same techniques google and facebook use to track you.

Absolutely the opposite!

We keep all your private data on your device where the algorithm runs and makes decisions on what to flattr. Instead of sending it all to us and then do the same on our servers. This is very conscious choice to make the service privacy friendly.

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