inessential by Brent Simmons

Nick on Privacy

My co-worker on Glassboard Nick Harris talks about privacy:

Apple’s decision to make it impossible to decrypt data on the device without the users password is the real reason they can say no to warrants. This was another idea we had tossed around. It would have been a paid feature where the board would be encrypted from end to end with only the chairperson having the keys. I had a plan for this and pushed it but didn’t win over the team on getting it built.

Privacy was a huge big deal with us with Glassboard. (And I brought those lessons with me to Vesper.)

With Glassboard we definitely wanted, as Nick pointed out, to do on-device encryption, so that the server would have no way of decrypting text. But we had to do so much so quickly that we couldn’t make the time. (And there were some technical issues — how could we do push notifications if the server can’t push the decrypted text? It’s possible Nick’s plan accounted for that; I don’t recall now.)

It seems as if the realization among regular users that privacy is critical has been glacially slow. But it appears to be picking up speed. (I sure hope that’s true.)