Ever get the feeling that you’re being watched? That someone is following you? That the guy sitting on the bench over there—guy in a trench coat, guy holding a large newspaper with two eye holes cut out—is actually spying on you? Or maybe it’s something a little more insidious. Those Amazon ads you keep seeing. Google Predict’s uncanny knack of knowing what you’re searching for after typing just two letters. That Facebook getaway suggestion that you only talked to your friends about.
Or perhaps it’s even closer to home. Your inbox, for example.
It’s scary to think that your email app may be spying on you, and that there’s big money to be made in selling on the contents of your inbox to data-hungry commercial concerns! Just this week, in fact, Vice revealed that popular email provider Edison was raking its users’ inboxes for its “Edison Trends” and “Trends Direct” programs. Programs that provide “detailed behavior patterns to improve your customers’ experience and business results.”
Pretty scary stuff.
However, Edison is not alone in its questionable data policies. Both Cleanfox and Slice have also been identified as guilty of data harvesting directly from its customers, while Google is already well known in the practice of data gathering—albeit not directly from your inbox. Then there’s the brave new world of Alexa and Siri listening in on your conversations, Facebook monitoring your chats, and Uber tracking your every real-world move.
In all fairness to Edison, the company claims that these data scraping practices are completely anonymous, stating that it uses the information to keep its software ad-free. Additionally, users can opt-out easily (if they’re even aware this is happening), and Edison says its software is designed to ignore both personal and work emails. It seems they’re only after your online purchasing data after all!
However, this leads us to some much bigger questions.
Are You the Customer… or the Product?
How much data are you willing to trade to access a free service? Does your email provider really believe in its product, or is it merely an opportunity to monetize your data?
Moreover, in a world where our every online movement is tracked and the data traded for billions of dollars, are you, in fact, the consumer or the product?
In truth, there is usually some trade-off when you use free services, and your data is the main currency in today’s eCommerce-centric world. However, the balance is very quickly tipping in favor of the Big Four and the countless startups and satellite services that surround them. There’s no escaping it—you are the product, and your data will be sold under the guise of, as Edison puts it, providing “transformational power both for consumers and for companies”.
But here at Spike, we like to think of you as…well……customers—trusted, valued, and working with us to build something truly special. In return, we want you to know that you can trust us, and that we’d never profit from silly little things like your Amazon shopping list or your Victoria’s Secret receipts.
Spike takes a wholly different approach to your data and your privacy—and we might be among the last email providers you can really trust!
Spike is All About Email (not data harvesting)
Let’s be crystal clear: Spike doesn’t care about what you buy. We couldn’t care less about which websites you spend the most time on, and we’re definitely not interested in which services and apps you’re signed up to. If you’re president of the Britney Spears fan club, then that’s on you my friend—but you can relax, Spike will never know about it anyway!
What we do care about is your privacy, your anonymity, and your security.
We have not, do not, and NEVER will sell or monetize your data.
We’re not concerned with tracking trends, purchasing patterns, newsletter subscriptions, or media outlet affiliations. We’re not interested in your Netflix viewing habits, your Spotify playlists, or your Instagram feed updates.
In fact, we only care about one thing––reinventing email and the way you work, to bring you ALL of the tools you need to communicate and collaborate with the world. More than email. Better than chat. We’re making work enjoyable by simplifying and unifying your entire workflow. All in one beautiful and easy to use inbox that’s completely secure (so you never have to worry about people snooping as you nail that next world-beating idea).
With the exception of unobtrusive technical access to keep everything running smoothly, we store the minimum amount of data needed to make your experience as fast and smooth as possible. We use the AES-256 algorithm to secure all data, meaning you can speak and share freely, go about your business with complete security, and generally relax in the knowledge that all of your data is safe from snoopers.
Spike is Built for Privacy (and we’ve got proof)
Security and privacy underpin everything we do at Spike. It’s our driving force, a mission that we take seriously, an ethos that is evident from the ground up. We will never sell on your data to pay for your services, and we don’t rely on ads to subsidize our work.
With Spike, you are the customer and never the product.
But don’t just take our word for it. The proof lies in our security standards.
We passed a comprehensive audit required by Google from its third-party email developers, and with flying colors. Spike is and always will be transparent when it comes to your data and how it is handled. We also regularly perform penetration testing, using the insights gathered to continue to improve our security and privacy protocols.
For increased privacy, Spike users can switch on EEM (encrypted email messaging) by toggling the encryption icon. EEM creates per-message encryption, splitting the key between Spike and your email provider. This means you can ensure that messages can be viewed ONLY by the intended recipient–– no third party will ever see your kindest, harshest, or most embarrassing typo-ridden words! Not even your email provider.
Spike Loves Security (and we’re still innovating)
Today, email security is more important than ever. One of the key justifications for Edison’s data policy is that the revenue stream generated by your data is used to provide ad-free email that still delivers innovative services. Spike, however, does all this without profiting from your data. Spike CEO and Co-founder, Dvir Ben-Aroya asserts:
“Email by nature is a very personal asset, like a bank account, since it includes a lot of sensitive information that you want to keep for yourself. At Spike, we believe the privacy of these assets is critical to the health of your communications. Our never-ending dedication to providing you with the ability to work and communicate openly and with confidence that your data is protected means intrusive and damaging data mining practices will never be seen here.
We believe in modern and fair business models that are based on bringing real value to the users. Spike offers free access to consumers, while businesses that find Spike significantly beneficial to their operations can subscribe to the Pro plan.”
At Spike, we’re committed to the continuous development of our services to meet the demands of 21st century communication. However, we’d never sacrifice your security to do that, and selling on your data to achieve our goals is never going to happen.
For more insight into how we’re innovating and advancing email to give you all the tools you need to work and play safely and securely, head over to the Spike blog. Additionally, if you have any questions regarding our security policies, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’re always here for you.