Designing Apps for Privacy

Privacy advocates like me implore people to use secure apps that protect their data. But how difficult is it to actually create those apps? How do you balance security and privacy against sharing features and ease of use? How do you earn the trust of your users and how do you keep that trust? When does being private begin to negatively impact your ability to participate in society? Today I’ll ask Mo, the creator of the secure note-taking app Standard Notes, all of these questions and more – including his personal thoughts for how best to organize and back up your notes and other data.

Interview Notes

Further Info

Table of Contents

Use these timestamps to jump to a particular section of the show.

  • 0:03:19: What is Standard Notes and how is it different?
  • 0:06:19: What is true end-to-end encryption?
  • 0:08:35: What does privacy mean to you?
  • 0:14:14: What do people misunderstand most about privacy?
  • 0:17:43: How do you secure a web app?
  • 0:23:08: Does security preclude any popular app features?
  • 0:27:31: Should we really encrypt everything?
  • 0:33:30: How do you earn and keep your users’ trust?
  • 0:37:57: How important is humility and honesty in security marketing?
  • 0:39:42: What is your note taking organizational strategy?
  • 0:47:03: How do you figure out what organizational style works for you?
  • 0:50:43: How do you make sure all your data is backed up and findable?
  • 0:56:17: What does the future hold for privacy?
  • 1:01:04: What’s next for Standard Notes?
  • 1:05:06: Interview wrap-up