a privacy standard across the web

by williamldennis

We’ve been building a business that lets anyone who owns a bike rent it out while they’re not using it. We connect two people who have never met, they organize a time and place to meet, they exchange a valued possession and they expect that it will be returned (and in good shape).

You could argue that participation in our system could be categorized as behavior change. You could argue people are becoming more open, more willing to connect online, more willing to trust people through the internet.

Interestingly, the most frequent reason we get for people requesting to have their accounts removed from our system is that their name shows up google search results because of our site (since fixed). It’s fascinating that people are willing to meet a stranger in person to give them their bike to rent, yet are still uncomfortable with their name showing up in google search for that very same service.

There has undoubtedly been a push by facebook, twitter, and google for a more open internet and less personal privacy. Openness is fantastic for information, but maybe services that are private and google-proof will be the places where real, honest human social connections can occur. It will be interesting to see if user privacy becomes standardized across the web over time or if privacy will become a feature on which services can differentiate themselves.