Golden Hill Software is based in the United States. I live in the United States. Google is a company based in the United States that, under certain circumstances, can be required to provide information it has about its users to the federal government. Recent changes to the leadership of the United States government make me extremely uncomfortable with this combination of circumstances. Therefore I am moving company email from Google to FastMail.

I continue to believe that Google treats the privacy of its users with respect, but I anticipate Google and many other United States companies facing extremely difficult decisions with regard to privacy. FastMail is based in Australia and has a respectable privacy policy. FastMail has servers located in the United States. A contact at FastMail assures me of the following:

Our primary servers are located in the US, however no staff in the US have credentials to access the servers. We take technical measures both to discourage seizure of our equipment by law enforcement, and to reduce the usefulness to them if this should occur. This currently mainly consists of encryption of our users’ data when it is stored on our servers. We don’t currently use any cloud computing services.

However, there is always a risk that some agent (be they law enforcement or criminal) may have covert access to our users’ data without our knowledge. Again, we take measures to prevent this, and we continually evaluate the situation and improve our countermeasures as appropriate.

I am also implementing the policy that email older than 30 days will only be stored on my devices and backups of those devices. Email will not sit on FastMail servers for more than 30 days.

I am continuing to sell and to support CloudPull. I have test accounts and will use them to test updates to the app. If you use Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, or Google Contacts, I hope you use CloudPull to back up your account. However I do recommend carefully considering what personal data you continue to store on Google’s servers if you are located in the United States.

This is the timeline for these changes:

  • On Friday, January 27, I will route incoming email to FastMail.
  • Golden Hill Software accounts will be removed from Google no later than Wednesday, February 1.

I have updated the Feed Hawk Privacy Policy with this information.