Promises Matter

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Today Kickstarter filed an amicus brief with 16 other companies to support Apple in its fight to protect the privacy and security of hundreds of millions of people.

If you haven't been following the case, here's some background: A federal district court recently ordered Apple to develop software that would empower the FBI to bypass security protections on the iPhone. Apple contends that providing this legal and technical workaround would have broad and dangerous privacy and security implications for the public. You can read more about the case here.

Much of the discussion around this case has centered on security, and the importance of protecting the privacy of user data. Like many companies, Kickstarter is entrusted with safeguarding—and protecting the privacy of—our community. We take that responsibility seriously, and we’re proud to stand up to defend it.

But there’s something else at stake here. Establishing trust is vital to any company that cares about its community. And transparency is crucial to maintaining that trust. Nowhere does the public expect transparency more than in policies addressing how, when, and under what circumstances their data will be shared with government agencies, here or abroad. The promises we’ve made to our community around transparency — in our Privacy Policy, Law Enforcement Guidelines, and elsewhere — are more than just legal formalities. They are real commitments based on trust — a trust rooted in the expectation that they can’t simply be tossed aside. By circumventing the existing legal processes for companies to cooperate with law enforcement, the court order at issue here would fundamentally erode the basis of that trust.

We joined this brief to make a case for why we can’t let that happen. You can read it in full here.