We’ve all done it, right? Gone to an interesting looking website and signed up for a free account for some exciting (or so it seemed) new service. Five minutes later, we decide the service isn’t quite so exciting and stop using it. But alas the damage is done, our details exist in the internal systems of the provider and forever more (or, at least until they shut down) our personal data is potentially at risk of nefarious access.

But what if we could sign up to as many services as we like, secure in the knowledge that, even if our details were somehow seen by a third party, it wouldn’t matter. That is the value proposition that Joinesty wants to offer the world. The company is an online tool for email masking, password management, and deal tracking and is launching today in a bid to make managing online accounts centralized and secure. Joinesty is part of Axel Springer’s Plug and Play Accelerator, and has gained nearly $3M in funding to date.

So, what does Joinesty actually do?

Joinesty provides users with a unique email address for any site. Users can keep their personal email private instead leveraging Joinesty’s patent-pending email creation. But single-use and veiled email addresses aren’t a particularly novel offering, Joinesty adds to that proposition via some related functionality that all makes for a greater whole.

With Joinesty, users can consolidate their online accounts to a centralized dashboard for easy tracking. Similar to browser Autofill, the Joinesty extension will help remember logins the next time a user visits a site. Users can roll existing accounts over to Joinesty’s online password manager with one click.

Joinesty is also a bit of a bulk-buying scheme. Its platform has partnerships with thousands of different retailers and via the knowledge about an individual user that Joinesty has, it automatically offers special deals at particular websites that users might visit.

Finally, Inbox Clean-up is a service whereby users can turn on or off emails from particular senders – thereby reducing inbox load for those unwanted emails.

MyPOV

This is all interesting but, arguably, all that Joinesty offers is handled better by standalone offerings. LastPass, 1Password or one of the other password management systems are fully focused on this problem space and do a fantastic job of password management – arguably better than Joinesty, with its diversity of focus, can do.

Anonymous email addresses are handy, but as I mentioned before, available widely from different providers. I suspect that many users will see combining anonymous email address provision with a password management system is somewhat counter-intuitive and flies in the face of what users are trying to achieve with anonymization.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the “Deal Finder” parts of the platform – most users who are attracted to anonymization services are so because they are concerned about different organizations mining and profiting from, their data. This is exactly what this Deal Finder is all about. Sure there is some benefit for users but, fundamentally, Joinesty is able to offer this service because it aggregates and mines user data – not something that I particularly want to be attached to one of the most sensitive of use-cases – password management.

Joinesty is an interesting but, in my view, fundamentally flawed aggregation of different services.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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