I recently switched my note taking app to Standard Notes. Part of the reason for the shift is technological. The application, both desktop and mobile, is blazingly fast and nurtures my love of minimalist design. No mess, no fuss, just me and my text. The other part of my reasoning is philosophical.
Standard Notes have one of the clearest and appealing manifestos for privacy I have read. They advocate 5 key domains as the bedrock of their platform. The first is End to End Privacy and revolves around providing their users with encryption everywhere they ‘don’t control.’ In the digital age this is perhaps the central promise a platform needs to uphold as the strength of servers and the internet is its decentralisation, the splitting of data across machines and continents. In such a landscape, we likely have far more data on devices we don’t control than on devices we do.
Their second promise speaks to Secure Connections. In that whenever they move your data, it is always sent over an encrypted network.
Third, they promise Open-source. In a proprietary system, it is difficult if not impossible for a user to audit the offering. Open-source means anyone can check the code and affirm if the company’s claim is a truth bearing statement.
Fourth, Standard Notes promise No tracking or intrusive advertising. While there are important use cases for developers to have access to some analytics, they never need to be able to follow me everywhere I travel in the digital landscape.
Respectful analytics rounds out the manifesto. As at the time of writing, their applications contain no analytics or tracking software. This is one of the critical elements for my composition style in that while I may share much of my writing with the world, until I choose to publish, my content should always remain strictly for my eyes only. Something in the digital world only an open-source, end to end system using secure connections and no analytics can provide.