Who really owns the information in your email?

When you go to a conference or a trade show you don’t scream out your company’s secrets or the figures on your paycheck. Why would you? And when you find a virus on your computer, you try to fix it immediately, so that it doesn’t harvest any sensitive information.
So why would anyone willingly submit their deepest personal and business secrets to a big faceless company, on a daily basis?

Because without email you’re back in the dark ages.

Chances are, you’re telling Google, Hotmail, or Yahoo things you don’t want anyone to know. We’re not lawyers, and we’re not qualified to give you legal advice but this is what we got from reading Google’s Terms of Services:

“You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours”.

And technically, they’re not lying. After you send an email through Gmail, you still own the information.

There are alternatives to giving companies access to your sensitive information:

  • Some secure email services make an effort to ensure that your data stays confidential, both from themselves and from intruders. Kolab is one of them. Its servers are based in Switzerland which allows Kolab to resist the tugs and pulls of international agencies. Even though it’s not free, its a service worth considering.
  • If you use Thunderbird, you should consider using Enigmail which is an extension for Thunderbird. Enigmail enables users to send and receive encrypted email messages. It uses the OpenPGP standard for encryption. Though it is not as secure as Kolab it does provide a layer of security.
  • Outlook’s built in ‘Encrypt Messages’ function (distinct from digitally signing messages) is another option. It provides a basic layer of security. However numerous vulnerabilities are known to exist. You first exchange public keys with the person whom you want to send encrypted message to. Once set up, only the recipient who holds the private key can read the messages.

Whatever your choice, and whether or not you choose to change email providers to protect your information, we want you to know that here at Diduce, we’re committed to making sure your information stays yours. Diduce never phones home with your data and doesn’t claim to know what’s in your email.

We care about privacy, both yours and ours.