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Technology

Privacy, Security, and Deleting You (and Your Data), Forever.

We’re all guilty of doing or saying something online that we eventually regret. Unfortunately, I may have more than my fair share of those!

To make it even worse is the fact that there isn’t much you can do about it, effectively and technically – the internet has you (and your bad behavior) forever!

Or maybe you’re just tired of that particular tool or app or “the” social network and you’ve decided to move on to something different (and better!) – so, you go through the ridiculously-onerous and difficult process of deleting your account and ensuring, trusting, that they have done a real and full delete so they no longer have any of your data to harvest or monetize or that could, at some inevitable point in the near-future, become a security risk when their app is hacked.

And even that might not be enough! Facebook, for instance, has both a deactivation and then a “real” delete that takes up to 90 days to complete! Horrific! Honestly, at this point in time, there’s not a single thing you could do to make me trust the largest surveillance company on the planet.

We believe this presents a a real opportunity for today’s modern technology companies to not just treat their community members better, but to do so in a way that honors them as people and their contributions, especially if they helped build your product (and company)!

Reese is awesome, forever.

Needless to say, privacy, security, and data management is something we care about, a lot. In fact, this is an area that we could not only help advocate and promote to a wider audience but we feel as if we have a very real and exciting opportunity to establish “better practices” (or even a “best practice”) on handling user’s data.

Consequently, we’ve decided that when one of our community members decides to leave the YEN network and requests a hard delete on their data, it means that we are going to perform a comprehensive and irreversible removal of all of their data, since the beginning of time, in every part of our entire technology stack.

That means everything, gone. Forever. Never to be seen again. Kaput. Nada.

We also promise to have this completed immediately upon request. We also promise to not have one of those super-annoying “Why did you leave us? We’d love your feedback!” questionnaires pop-up in your face as you exit the building!

Now, in full transparency, doing a full and comprehensive delete can require a lot of work on our end to make it happen, and there will always be a few things that we can’t remove, especially the data that resides in open and public blockchains, but, we believe it’s worth the effort, especially in our privacy-conscious, data-sensitive, post-Facebook world.

And, we fundamentally respect our community member’s right to their data and the content that they create on the network and, as simple as it might sound, we want to treat others as we would want to be treated!

Is this amazing or scary?

So, what goes on when you make that request? Glad you asked! If we hard delete a user (“HDU” from here on out) we will go as far as deleting every instance of that user and their content – if it’s a 1-on-1 or Group Direct Message, we’ll walk through this workflow programmatically and this is what the community member might experience:

  • As an active User X with an open chat with User Y who has been deleted, when I open a chat I’ll only see the messages sent by me but all messages of a HDU (User Y) will be removed.
  • In a larger Group Chat, as an active User X who’s active in a group chat (2+ members of the community), I should only see content from active users but the HDU (User Y) content will also be removed from the chat instance for all community members.

There are obviously much more that goes on, but, the point is to share the fact that when we remove a community member (and all of their data) from the network it has an incredibly large impact throughout the entire system! We have to account for every… single… instance.

But it’s worth it.

We have a lot of work to do to get to this point (it’s not fully built-out quite yet on our Private Beta) and there’s even more work to be done with a community member’s data, like transferability and portability (i.e. the ability to download all of your content and personal data for reuse on different services and systems).

And with your help, support, and incredible feedback, we will together build a community that we all can be proud of – it’s about time, right?