April 2021 | Issue 6
Dear fellow Internet Optimist,
The saga continues. In this month’s installment, Google offers an (unpopular) alternative to third-party cookies and Apple announces a new location tracker, among other tech & privacy news. We’ve also included an excellent talk on the real meaning of trust, a letter from our CEO on our company’s unique culture, and more!
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PRIVACY & TECH
April 2021 in Review
- Third-party cookies are out, and Google’s new tracking feature FLoC is in. Use Google Chrome? You might be an unwitting test subject in Google’s new ad-tech experiment. (Companies like DuckDuckGo are already taking steps against it.)
- This New York Times article suggests that a global tipping point for reining in tech has arrived. Examples include China’s decision to fine Alibaba $2.8 billion and Biden’s nomination of Lina Khan (who has openly criticized Big Tech) to the Federal Trade Commission.
- The newly announced Apple AirTag, with its built-in privacy features, is a significant step towards Privacy-First tech. Apple has also introduced a new feature called App Tracking Transparency, which lets you control which apps can track your activity. We’d love to see Apple take this approach across all of its products and services.
- Got hacked recently? According to Facebook, it’s your fault.
We’re happy to welcome a new team member to our team, Chris Swan!
Chris chose the title “Engineer” because it represents a person who is always learning. Never mind that he has over three decades of experience in the IT industry, and boasts an impressive resume full of CTO and directorial roles. Chris’ willingness to learn and take on new challenges is readily apparent in his approach to work. Though he had never worked with Flutter before joining us, he plunged straight in, tearing our existing infrastructure apart and reworking it into a stronger foundation. And though startup culture is hectic, Chris somehow still finds the time to co-run a tech podcast and write his own blog.
Remote Culture: One Company’s Journey
“You can’t create a company culture when everyone is virtual.” Really?
“When we first started The @ Company in 2019, we decided we would be virtual. That way we could recruit the best people we have worked with in the past, no matter where they are living now.
People said that we were wrong, that virtual companies don’t work, and that we would need to get an office somewhere. How funny that in the spring of 2020 all of that changed.”
Why Trust Matters with Rachel Botsman
We talk a lot about the importance of trust, particularly in relation to consumers. But there are a lot of common misconceptions about trust, which author and Oxford University Trust Fellow Rachel Botsman breaks down in her LinkedIn course on trust. Some notable takeaways:
- Trust is a confident relationship with the unknown. As Rachel states, “the greater the uncertainty… the more trust is required.”
- More transparency does not equal more trust. Transparency doesn’t increase trust; it simply removes the need for it.
- The relationship between vulnerability and trust. Rachel calls vulnerability the “superpower” of building trust.
IN OTHER NEWS
@FoodShare, one of our @appathon II winners, is the food app for all your needs.
- Phase 2 of @appathon II came to a close at the beginning of April. Read about the 9 winners.
- Internet Pioneers wanted! By signing up for our Early Access program, you’ll get a 20% discount on @signs, join our Beta Tester list, and get exclusive access to our workshops. Sign up now (you can always opt out at a later time).
- 💙 Flutteristas are “people who identify as women or non-binary who have an interest in Flutter.” Our CEO Barbara Tallent spoke on The Alternative Internet at the Flutteristas Conference on April 17! (Watch her full talk.) We also offered a virtual scavenger hunt challenge complete with prizes.
- Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter capitalize on our desire to be seen. Read more about how social media hardwired this Gen Zer’s need for external validation.
- Need help getting an @app up and running? You can get your questions answered at our weekly troubleshooting sessions, run by our trusty People Support team. Sign up now!
Hi Mom, we’re famous!
- Our CEO Barbara Tallent discusses rising 2021 trends, particularly the emergence of the Alternative Internet.
- What will change when Chrome removes third-party cookie support? Listen now to CMO Jory Des Jardins’ conversation with podcaster Justin Brady.
- As Internet Optimists, we believe that the unsafe Internet is fixable.
WHO ARE WE?
We are technologists, creators, and builders with one thing in common: We love the Internet. You could go so far as to call us Internet Optimists.
Speak with our founders — experienced technologists, builders, entrepreneurs, and Internet Optimists: firstname.lastname@example.org.