We are very happy to announce that in March and April Thomas and Brandon joined our team. Highly motivated, Thomas has joined our development team and Brandon has joined our support team.
In 2020, we were able to substantially grow our team for the first time due to a fastly growing number of Tutanota users. We plan to continue this growth in 2021. While the Corona pandemic is currently slowing down the onboarding of new team members, we are optimistic that everything will be back to normal in a couple of months. In spite of all the hurdles, we are doubly glad that Brandon and Thomas were able to join us in these difficult times.
I wanted to work with Tutanota because I wanted to be part of a team who was not just working for a paycheck. I have been a Tutanota user myself for two years before applying. I respect the work done by Tutanota in the fight for internet privacy, and wanted to help continue that project. I enjoy the flexibility that working with Tutanota gives me and the friendly, laid-back team atmosphere. I am now part of the support team at Tutanota. My aim is to provide better and faster support for our users. The learning curve here is quite steep, and I am sure that I will be able to achieve a lot together with my new team.
Privacy on the internet is important to me because the internet has become so integrated into almost every aspect of our lives. It is nearly impossible to apply for a job without an email address, medical institutions are moving massive amounts of intimate personal data over the internet, romantic relationships are made through dating applications, and shopping online has become common practice. If we cannot retain an element of privacy online, then we are being forced to forfeit personal information, without compensation, to function within our increasingly technological world. Tutanota is one important piece with its built-in encryption to help fix this issue.
In the early days of the internet there was a certain vibe about free access to knowledge, of unrestricted worldwide communication and of building grassroot communities with these tools. The internet felt to a lot of its early users like a tool for liberation and it arguably has delivered in that regard at least at times. Over the last 20 years or so, the picture has changed dramatically.
E-commerce and the monetization of services such as search engines, social media, etc. has had a huge impact on what the internet is today. Our search results, our streams on social media and even articles in reputable online media are mingled with subtle ads that the providers of these services make their money with. In order to improve the efficiency of those ads and hence provide an advantage over their competition, bulk collection of user data, analysis of user behavior and other techniques have been deployed at mass scale. Large corporations have learned to use these techniques to alter our behavior very effectively. This does not stop with making us desire and ultimately buy stuff that we might not need, want or that might be even harmful to us, the environment or people around us. The case of Cambridge Analytica has shown us that similar techniques and sometimes the exact same data have also been utilized to manipulate our very thinking, our political convictions and our electoral behavior.
Most governments are not only reluctant to protect their citizens from these threats, even worse, many have opted to launch programs that aim to collect as much information on us as possible as well. Edward Snowden's revelations have shown the extend to which this has become reality and we can be sure that this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Although any attempt of resisting may seem futile at times, it is important to speak up and to try and defeat surveillance by both state and corporate actors wherever we can. Some of the tools we have at our disposal are using end-to-end encrypted communication, free software and online services driven by communities rather than corporations.
I have joined Tutanota as a software engineer because I do believe that an end-to-end encrypted email service is an important tool in fighting back mass-surveillance and by improving Tutanota I can contribute to the struggle against mass-surveillance.
Recommended for further reading: The ultimate guide to reclaim your privacy online.