These are very exciting times as we are part of a trend that is about to become mainstream. The privacy era has already started a couple of years ago. Back then the privacy subreddit celebrated its 100.000th member. Today, this subreddit has more than one million members, a clear sign on how much privacy matters to so many people!
Back then privacy enthusiasts around the world have started to question their online habits as well as the power of big tech companies such as Google and Microsoft.
Back then these privacy enthusiasts were also the early adopters of privacy-first services such as Tutanota and DuckDuckGo.
Today, these services are used by millions around the world and the numbers are constantly growing.
Alexa page rank of Tutanota in 2022.
Alexa page rank of Duckduckgo in 2022.
With each new law of data retention, with each new scandal about wiretapping of the general public, with each new scandal about data infringements in non-encrypted email services, people increasingly understand that traditional mail services can’t keep them safe - even if they wanted to.
If the data an email provider holds is not encrypted, it can easily be accessed by secret services and other state agencies. The Yahoo scandal shows how easily state agencies can get access to the mail content of everybody using such a service.
In addition to state surveillance, people more and more distrust that traditional online services are interested in keeping their data secure. Boston Consulting estimates that this attitude of distrust will only grow as more and more data breaches become public.
The turn towards privacy-friendly services was about time as online surveillance around the world is constantly growing.
"Our emails contain a lot of sensitive personal data: Communication with banks and authorities, appointments, services we subscribe to, private communications with friends and family", says Matthias Pfau, co-founder of Tutanota. "It is crucial that this information cannot be abused - neither by attackers, nor by the authorities nor by the mail service (i.e. Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook.com) that hosts your mails. That's why we need end-to-end encryption. Only with strong encryption no-one can spy on your data, and people are increasingly understanding this."
"Our users say, they are sick of all this online spying that is going on. They are also sick of being constantly exposed to targeted advertisements. That's why they appreciate a secure mail service like Tutanota so much."
To protect your data, Tutanota focuses on three things:
no targeted advertising
There are lots of reasons why privacy is trending. For sure, a major one is that people want to stop Big Tech from spying on them.
People simply want to benefit from having privacy because it is now easily available on the web. And that's how it should be.
Today more and more people understand that their personal information is valuable: If you don't pay with money, you are paying with your personal data, with your personal life. And people don't want to pay with their personal lives anymore.
"That's why our user base is growing so quickly", says Matthias. "Today all webmail services are very similar and easy to use. But people are starting to pay attention to the details, and the most important detail with email is privacy. The mail service of the future must respect people's right to privacy. We fight for our users and their right to privacy because we believe that privacy is a fundamental human right that needs to be protected. Many of our users around the world are journalists, activists and politicians fighting for digital rights. For them - and for anybody else - end-to-end encryption is the best tool to secure one's mail so that all data stays private."
"We are very happy that privacy is trending. With more and more people using encrypted and privacy-focused services you can protect what belongs to you: your data. This way we will turn the internet into a better place."
We have already explained in detail why privacy matters and why it is time to fight for privacy.
The main reason can be summarized quickly: Privacy is a human right.
To us privacy is as important as strong encryption as the two are closely interlinked: You can only have privacy online if nobody but yourself can access your data; and only strong end-to-end encryption can protect your data in such a way that only you can unlock the encrypted data.
So to fight for privacy also means to fight for encryption. It is the only way to protect oneself online.
Recommended for further reading: Quick guide to take back your privacy by leaving Google & Co