About Us

What Is Customer Commons?
What we do
Our Board of Directors

What is Customer Commons?

Customer Commons’ mission is to restore the balance of power, respect and trust between individuals and organizations that serve them, and does not take contributions from commercial entities.

Customer Commons began as a spin-off of ProjectVRM at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center, Customer Commons holds a vision of the customer as an independent actor who retains autonomous control over his or her personal data, desires and intentions.  Customers must also be able to assert their own terms of engagement, in ways that are both practical and easy to understand for all sides.

Customer Commons believes free customers are more valuable than captive ones—to themselves, to the companies they deal with, and to the whole economy.

What We Do

As a public-facing organization focused on emerging issues at the intersection of empowered customers and the public good, Customer Commons seeks to both educate and inspire change for customers worldwide. We do this through research, educational initiatives and promotion of customer-side tools.

Customer Commons meets customers where they naturally are, while offering a way forward that demonstrates practical alternatives. Our work is grounded in research exploring public attitudes toward customer relationships with vendors, online and offline. We also research solutions under development, seeking to understand, present and advocate viable approaches. This information supports the development of new tools and methods while also informing the larger Internet policy conversation and our vision of an empowered individual in the context of a healthy and dynamic market-based system.

All of Customer Commons’ programs reflect values of truly transparent and flexible methods for individuals to maintain their unique voices in relationship to other entities in the marketplace. Therefore, we support technological approaches that are primarily personal, not social, designed from the outset to help customers clearly express their own intent. Our work will help customers engage in equal and open relationships that do not lock them to a single set of solutions. We believe the market will support independent customers. With truly engaged customers, businesses, governments and institutions of all kinds will have countless more willing hands, heads and hearts to solve the problems of our world, while creating prosperity for all.

2 thoughts on “About Us

  1. I installed Web Pal and have used it for a short time. Nice to eliminate the ads and clutter.

    However, when I open a new tab, I get a customer commons start page instead of what I want…a blank page. I don’t see any way to change this in the extension settings or on the page.

    How do I get a blank NewTab page?


    1. We are so pleased you like our Web Pal, and we love getting feedback! Others have also asked for a blank “New Tab” feature, and our next version supports it. You will be able to configure the “New Tab” as blank, tiled with commonly visited websites, or see our news feed. The new release will also have Respect Network features, another step forward for individual rights. If you can wait, leave the Web Pal as it is and it will update automatically when we release. If you’d rather uninstall until we are ready, then keep checking back here, or join the Emmett notification list at http://www.emmettglobal.com/contact.php to get an email announcing the new Web Pal release. Emmett makes the Web Pal for non-profits like Customer Commons who are aligned with their mission of “Data For Good.”

      Karen L Gordon
      Project Manager
      Data For Good

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