Why Privacy Needs to Power the Next Generation of Apps

March 18, 2020
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Joe Pezzillo
An iPhone with a home screen folder showing privacy violating apps

As consumers have become increasingly connected by apps, more and more companies have exploited user trust by sharing and selling personal data with third parties. Over time, the need for privacy has become the most important feature in any app. As app publishers collect more information on their customers, those users have begun to see the increasing downsides to expanded data collection. Data privacy is more important today than ever. Companies should be highly concerned with their data privacy practices and procedures for many reasons.  

Why does this matter?

Simply put, your private information should be yours and yours alone. While consumers will often happily share photos, opinions and locations online, it’s a given that health and financial information must always be kept securely out of reach from third parties. Unfortunately, mobile advertisers usually share much more data than consumers are led to believe. In a study conducted by researchers at Oxford University, a staggering 90% of free Android apps in the Google Play store were found to be sharing data with other organizations.

App publishers today often face the choice of using advertising platforms with considerable threats to private data. Nami is proud to be leading the industry with data privacy protection as a core tenet of our company mission. First of all, as a design philosophy, we seek to limit any data we collect to the absolute minimum. Secondly, any potentially personally identifiable information (PII) that we might encounter is processed and stored locally on-device and never transmitted to or stored on our servers. To further underscore our commitment to privacy, our servers will reject calls made to our APIs if a customer/developer tries to send us identifiers that are not valid hashes or universally unique identifiers (UUIDs).

Nami creates a random UUID for each device (not user) in order to provide personalized experiences. Our personalization engine runs on-device allowing users to experience custom offers, without transmitting personal data to us. Beyond this, the Nami SDK will not collect email, or geolocation information (except at the country level, in order to meet regulatory compliance), email, IP address or even any device identifiers. Data minimization is employed to limit any information collected to be only that which is absolutely necessary. This is dramatically different from many other mobile SDKs that collect as much data as they can without protecting user’s privacy.

“We shouldn’t ask our customers to make a tradeoff between privacy and security. We need to offer them the best of both. Ultimately, protecting someone else’s data protects all of us.” - Tim Cook, CEO Apple

A company’s approach to privacy comes from a set of corporate beliefs. When privacy is a reaction to regulation, the implementation will always fall short. Consumers are demanding better accountability and will reward companies that make data privacy a central part of their business strategy. The next generation of mobile apps will need to have a higher standard of privacy than ever before. Nami’s mission is to help app publishers grow their revenue using in-app subscriptions. We want to help app developers build their businesses in a way that benefits the company and the customer.

“Sell your app, not your users.” - Joe Pezzillo, Co-Founder Nami ML

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Joe Pezzillo

Joe Pezzillo is a serial entrepreneur and Internet pioneer. He is the co-founder of Nami ML.

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