Grass 102: Q&A on Privacy and Security

Grass
5 min readJun 22, 2023

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The Grass beta is live! We’ve been thrilled with the response to our initial launch and want to thank everyone for downloading the extension and giving feedback. A lot of people asked for more details about how Grass works, so we’re writing a post to answer some of your questions.

As it turns out, we have good news: selling unused network resources is 100 percent safe, secure, and private. Sounds too good to be true, right?

We get it, it’s hard to believe you can earn passive income these days without sacrificing something you don’t want to give up. But Grass has a unique business model that revolves not around selling your data, but taking back ownership of network resources that other people are already selling out from under you.

Let’s re-examine some of the finer points and answer some of the questions about how this could be true.

Will installing Grass allow anyone to view my data or internet usage?

This one is easy: No, it won’t. While you may be used to companies exploiting your personal data from using social media over the years, we’re happy to report that this is not how Grass works.

So how does it work, then?

When you sign up for the internet, ISPs sell you a plan with a certain amount of bandwidth. For the average internet connection, this ends up being about 100 Mbps — in other words, your maximum download speed at any given moment is 100 megabytes per second.

But what happens during the times you’re just reading the news? You might be using only 5 or 10 Mbps of your allotted bandwidth, but you’re paying for the whole thing. So what happens to the other 90 Mbps of bandwidth that you aren’t using?

As we covered in Grass 101, data scientists gather information by scraping the public web. They do this through residential proxies, which is another way of saying they buy those 90 Mbps of unused bandwidth from your internet connection and use it to view the internet.

When this happens, they’re not using your computer or viewing anything that you’re doing on it. All they’re doing is routing their own internet traffic through your IP address, which is completely separate from your activity. That means zero access to your personal data.

To reiterate, this privacy and security applies at every level. Neither the app nor the purchasers can see what’s going on in Chrome or any other app. They have no ability to view other extensions or their pop ups (including Metamask.) And they definitely cannot see the data you enter live while using your internet connection, like passwords or personal information.

Think of it like renting out a parking space in front of your house. Someone may pay to park there, but just because they’re out front doesn’t mean they can see anything that goes on inside the house. That’s how Grass works, only instead of renting out a parking space to another driver, you’re renting extra internet to data scientists. They have no way of seeing what’s going on in the house, and your activity remains totally safe and private.

Can buyers use the connection for anything illegal?

No. While anyone can download the Grass web extension and sell their unused network resources, joining the buy side is not so easy. Buyers of unused network resources — the data scientists in this equation — go through a careful vetting process by Wynd Network that requires them to sign a detailed service agreement in order to use the platform.

One stipulation in this agreement is that Wynd can view all of their activity. Anything that buyers access with your unused bandwidth will be visible to the platform, and buyers will be immediately banned for activity that’s deemed sketchy or illegal.

Another stipulation of this agreement is that all buyers assume liability for anything they do while using the resources they purchase on Grass. This means that no matter what, a buyer’s activity is their own responsibility and there is no way anything could happen to you as a result of using the app.

While the purchasers on residential proxy networks may be using your unused bandwidth to verify that ads are being shown on the appropriate websites, or even scrape web data to train machine learning models, you don’t have to worry about them doing anything illegal.

Will Grass slow my internet connection down?

No. As a marketplace for residential proxies, Grass only allows buyers to purchase your unused network resources. This means that the app will always take a backseat to your own internet usage, and won’t put any additional strain on the bandwidth you’re using. If there is no unused bandwidth available — if you’re using all of it yourself, in other words — the app simply goes dormant.

As an aside, the amount of bandwidth used is also rate limited to avoid disrupting your internet experience. When usage reaches 0.3% of a household’s bandwidth, proxy activity is capped. Combined with the general policy of spreading web requests out over a relatively long timeframe, you probably won’t even know the app is there.

. . . . .

As we can see from the answers to these questions, selling your unused network resources on Grass is an easy way to earn passive income without sacrificing your privacy, safety, or the quality of your internet connection.

If you’re wondering where the money is coming from, the simple answer is that you’re taking it back from the people who are likely already earning it without you. Remember, even before installing Grass, these resources were being sold to the exact same kinds of buyers. It was simply happening without your involvement, and without you being compensated.

If this sounds like a better deal to you, it’s because it is! So join our Discord to sign up as one of Grass’s early adopters, and be sure to let us know if you have any more questions. Participation is safe, legal, and private, so the more you understand, the better your experience will be. Reach out and touch Grass!

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