Why we avoid collecting data.

July 16, 2020
“What if we architected Kinoko Chat so we didn’t need to collect any customer data?  No accounts, no passwords, no detailed logs, nothing…”

During the early days of Kinoko we challenged ourselves with this exact question.  We knew customers would be trusting Kinoko Chat in their homes. For that, they deserved our utmost respect for their privacy and safety. The team decided the best way to protect customers was to build a system that minimized the amount of data collected and stored.

Avoiding data collection is a foreign concept to most companies. Customer data is perceived as an infinite source of insight for products and their uses. Sometimes, these insights benefit customers via product improvements, new features, and bug fixes. But more often the data drives revenue and valuation for tech companies, particularly startups. 

Yet, data collection is a double edged sword. How often is data monitored for "quality assurance purposes", leveraged for advertisements, or even sold to other companies?  Even if a company isn’t abusing customer data, the existence of collected data can lead to privacy issues. History has shown us that no company is immune to data breaches. How could we guarantee protection against that?  What happens when a company is acquired by someone with nefarious data practices?

The team decided on day 0 that Kinoko Chat would never monetize customer data - no ads, no third party sales, no exceptions! Ditching the financial constraints of data collection empowered us to build the most private and secure video chat solution on the market.

  • Chat users don’t need accounts because each Kinoko Chat Relay securely manages its identity and interactions with the Kinoko servers.
  • Our dedicated hardware means you're not vulnerable to the spyware that targets tablets and computers. 
  • Each dedicated chat room utilizes encrypted, direct connections between each Kinoko Chat unit. This prevents everyone, even Kinoko employees, from accessing that data.

Data that isn’t collected can never be sold, stolen, or leveraged. Unfortunately, most companies with video chat solutions cannot avoid collecting data. They rely on data-driven advertising or architect systems to depend on large amounts of centralized data. At Kinoko, we’ve taken a different approach. And in that way, family time remains simply family time.