Welcome to Our Privacy Please! Newsletter
A newsletter for the privacy concerned community that doesn’t track its subscribers.
2020 is the year for privacy and it’s Startpage’s mission to help raise worldwide awareness of data rights protection and the value of privacy.
We plan on achieving this twofold; by delivering the world’s best private search engine and through frequent communication with our users. To achieve this, we are launching Privacy Please!, a newsletter designed to share the latest in privacy news and legislation, and educate users on how they can better protect themselves online.
Staying true to our core practice of not collecting personal data, Startpage’s Privacy Please! Newsletter will never track readers and always protect them from third party trackers – something that turned out to be quite complicated to achieve. We spent a great deal of time evaluating Email Service Providers (large and small), only to ultimately realize that none offered a truly private way to send emails to our privacy concerned users.
After dead-end conversations with multiple global ESPs (Email Service Providers), our CMO Chris Solcer opportunely met Martijn de Kuijper, CEO of Dutch startup Revue at TNW Conference in Amsterdam. Martijn shared that the team at Revue, an editorial newsletter tool for writers and publishers, was in the early stages of developing privacy solutions for their partners. A few months later, with the launch of Privacy Please! approaching, Chris reconnected with Martijn who was now ready with a solution. Revue had created a way to disable all tracking and could prove, through testing, that their solution delivered a truly private alternative.
Interestingly, we were surprised to learn that only one other party had asked Revue for a track-free solution. The “party” we’re referring to is The Markup – a nonprofit newsroom, investigating the uses and impact of new technologies. You can learn more about them and subscribe to their private newsletter here: https://themarkup.org/.
How Non-Private Newsletter Emails Track You
Since we spent so much time evaluating partners in the Newsletter space, we thought we’d shine a light on this industry and explain how email subscribers are being tracked. A report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. states that Global Email Marketing Spend is projected to reach US$15 billion by 2024 (http://www.strategyr.com/E_mail_Email_Marketing_Market_Report.asp). If you’re wondering what information is being measured every time you open an email, we’ve compiled a summary below.
- Open rate: Everytime you open OR don’t open an email THEY calculate your open rate.
- Clickthrough: If an article or image piques your interest and you click on it to learn more, THEY can see which links you clicked and how many times you clicked.
- Conversion: If you decide to buy something or complete a form via a link in the email, THEY track this.
- Sharing/ Forwarding: If you decide to share or forward this email to a friend, THEY know.
- Tracking Codes: A UTM (Urchin Tracking Monitor) code is a snippet of simple code that you can add to the end of a URL to track the performance of campaigns and content.
- Additional tracking: Online versions of newsletters often do additional tracking with tools like Google Analytics to gain other personal data.
How Startpage’s Private Newsletter Is Private
Using Revue’s privacy feature, every single form of tracking on Privacy Please! Is disabled. This means that no pixel will be embedded into our newsletters and that any links we include won’t be replaced by tracking links. We’ve also removed the UTM parameters (tracking parameters) from all links in the newsletter.
In addition, all forms of tracking on the Privacy Please! landing page (subscribe page, archive pages and subscriber settings pages) have been disabled, including the online versions of the newsletter. This also means we won’t have any tracking for advertising purposes on these pages.
Our only way to understand whether Privacy Please! is helping to raise critical awareness on data rights protection will be by the growth of our subscriber base and individual feedback from our users.
How You Can Stay Informed About Privacy by Subscribing
If you aren’t a Privacy Please! subscriber yet or if you know someone interested in taking back control of their personal data, please sign up or share today.
To Subscribe to Privacy Please: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/Startpage