Thursday, July 29, 2010

Progress on privacy

When I took on the role as Spoke’s CEO, I committed that Privacy would be front and center to everything we do. At the time, I received touching and sometimes angry messages from some of you who were disappointed by Spoke’s perceived attitude towards privacy and the previous responsiveness to users’ request. While we can’t change what has been done in the past, we are committed to do what’s right in the future.

Working with our Privacy advisors, we conducted, at the time, an audit of Spoke’s practices and zeroed in on four major enhancement:

  1. People could not remove their public profile without registering;

  2. People who had registered could not cancel their registration;

  3. People had difficulty correcting their company profiles or personal profiles; and

  4. More importantly, our customer support was overwhelmed and was dealing with massive amount of users’ requests asking us to perform actions manually.

I committed to fixing those issues, and I am glad to report that we have released features (to fix those problems) ahead of schedule and, since June 1st, the majority of our users are taking advantage of the automated features we released. Additionally, we are now processing all manual requests in less than 48 hours, and finally have caught up with our customer support backlog. TRUSTe is also very satisfied with our efforts, and BBB has upgraded our site from F to B. We’re thrilled with the validation of our improvements, and continue to work very hard to get our BBB rating further elevated to an A- or an A.

Obviously, we are constantly reviewing our methods for collection, processing and disseminating information to make them even better, and we have many other features that we intend to release in the next few months (for example, ability to claim multiple profiles, highlight non co-workers on a person profile, etc.), so stay tuned and do not hesitate to reach out if you sense that we are not addressing issues timely enough.

We will post our Privacy Product Roadmap on Uservoice so you can comment on the features we want to develop. We want to deliver the privacy features that are users want to see, so please let us know what’s most important to you.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for updating your privacy policy. I just sent a request to have my account removed.

    It's spammy and kind of black hat for you guys to just create profiles without asking permission, and without doing what you should have done in the first place: Sell your product and convince us that it's worthwhile. That's what LinkedIn did, and they're not suffering from the spammy black hat reputation you guys are. I hope that as the new CEO you're going to fix your culture first.