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Celebrating Data Privacy Day

Data privacy should be ingrained in our daily actions and decisions.

Rochelle Guillou
4 min read
Celebrating Data Privacy Day

Today is Data Privacy Day, an annual and international effort to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection. More and more developers around the world are realizing that data privacy has become a fundamental need and expectation rather than just a user preference. By fiercely protecting our data, we defend our ability to think freely, make unbiased choices, and maintain control over our digital identities.

Data Privacy Day is a crucial reminder for both organizations and individuals to deepen their understanding of privacy, champion data protection practices, and amplify the significance of privacy in our lives.

Take Charge of Your Online Privacy

This is a good moment for a self-assessment to actively improve and protect your online privacy.

  • Update your privacy settings: Take some time to review and update your privacy settings on social media platforms, email accounts, and other online services. Ensure that you're only sharing information with audiences you're comfortable with and that your data isn't being used in ways you haven't consented to, such as for AI training purposes.
  • Choose privacy conscious alternatives: Our Q&A with Skiff underlines the importance of opting for products and services that are private by default, and more specifically end-to-end encrypted.
  • Review app permissions: Check the permissions you've granted to the various apps you use. If an app has access to more information than it needs to function, consider revoking unnecessary permissions.
  • Explore available resources: The Electronic Frontier Foundation has an excellent list of tips, tools and how-tos for safer online communications.
  • Own your communications: Embrace private, decentralized and interoperable messaging through apps like Converse, and if you’re a developer, consider building with XMTP!

Our Collective Responsibility Towards Privacy

Protecting your own privacy online is critical, but it’s just as important to consider the role each of us play in creating a better, safer, and more private web. We can achieve this by routinely taking some of these actions:

  • Advocating for stronger policies: Encourage your local representatives to support laws and regulations that prioritize consumer data privacy and end-to-end encryption. Read our 2023 privacy roundup to see how and why this makes a huge difference, and the organizations you can follow to know how to participate.
  • Keep your community alert: Share your passion and knowledge about data privacy with friends, family, and colleagues. Raising awareness is a powerful way to create a culture that increasingly values privacy.
  • Support and amplify privacy-focused organizations: In our interview with Cindy Cohn, Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, she noted:
“People feel helpless to protect their privacy and it’s not hard to see why. The surveillance business model is so pervasive and when you add government to that – pushing to make sure no one can ever have a private conversation online, it can feel overwhelming.”

This sense of helplessness in the face of widespread surveillance underlines why XMTP Labs is escalating its advocacy efforts to defend privacy against the tide of invasive surveillance worldwide, but we can’t do it without organizations like the EFF. Consider supporting them here.

Listen to Sarah Roth-Gaudette, Executive Director of Fight for the Future, explain some of the biggest threats to data privacy today:

Data Privacy Day Should Be Every Day!

Data privacy should be ingrained in our daily actions and decisions. In the protocols, apps and platforms we all use and help build, the advocacy we engage in, and the legislation and legal protections we seek, defending privacy and encryption needs to be a priority. This is why the XMTP community is building with the belief that privacy, data ownership and portability must become uncompromising standards in messaging and how we operate by default on the web.

Data Privacy at XMTP Labs

We sought insights from our team members about their perspectives on data privacy and what it means to them. Below are their reflections:

"To me, data privacy means I’m in full control of who gets to access my online information, so that it can no longer be used to erode my autonomy by silently shaping my environment."
- Saul Carlin, Chief Product Officer
“Data privacy to me means I can safely interact and engage within my online communities without worry of my digital information getting shared or sold for companies to monetize off of.”
- Michelle Nguyen, Lead Recruiter
“Data privacy to me is the foundation for digital autonomy and respect for individual rights; it's about meticulously guarding personal information as a fundamental aspect of ensuring freedom and dignity in an increasingly interconnected world.”
- Tsachi Herman, Principal Software Engineer
“For me, data privacy is about safeguarding my identity and maintaining autonomy over it. Despite governments worldwide collecting extensive citizen data, they frequently fall short in providing transparency and information. It's crucial to recognize that a person's data is as unique to them as DNA, underscoring the vital importance of preserving its integrity.”
- Anonymous, Design Team

At XMTP Labs, data privacy symbolizes a collective commitment to upholding individual autonomy, dignity, and freedom - especially with our communications. This shared vision of respecting and protecting personal information is deeply embedded in our team's ethos, shaping the way we help build, collaborate, and contribute to XMTP.

Want to work with a privacy conscious team? Here are our open positions!

AdvocacyPrivacy & Security