At Zoho we take privacy and security of your data very seriously.
However, privacy is not just a matter of software engineering. A few customers have asked us what the recently leaked US government surveillance programs mean for us as a company and for you, our customers. Our data centers are based in the United States, and we do a sizable chunk of our business here as well. We are, therefore, subject to US law. We do not make the laws, but we are bound by them – whether we agree with them or not.
We would love to be able to guarantee the privacy of your data against any government intervention. However, realistically that is not possible. Companies like Google and Verizon have also found themselves having to comply with over-reaching requests. Choosing not to comply is not an option given the way the current laws and programs work. Customers might want to consider the fact that the US government can do as it pleases – with your data whether it is stored in the cloud, or sitting inside your own company walls.
It is our view that the federal programs that have come to light (and others that we might not know of yet) are too far-reaching. We hope that with the intense pressure that the current administration is facing from media and the general public, these programs will be modified to allow for better due process and increased transparency.
Meanwhile, we continue to focus on the elements of privacy and security that we are able to influence and control. The technical safeguards that we work on are meant to protect you against hacking attempts, and also to keep Zoho itself out of your data. In matters of privacy, it is worth highlighting that Zoho remains the only major email service provider that never displays any ads. In fact, there are no ads inside any of our products. We don’t have an incentive to look inside your data ourselves. While Google has gone on record to say you can’t expect privacy from Google itself, we can assure you that we guarantee your privacy, at least from Zoho itself, if not from the Government.
So far we have not faced any situation that has presented us with these conflicts, but we do not assume we will never face it. This is not a technology issue, this is a political and constitutional issue. We just thought we would let you know about the current environment that companies like us face.