If you’re not familiar with ProtonMail, their four-year is a good time to get acquainted. ProtonMail was founded by a team at CERN in an attempt to create an email service with privacy as it’s primary focus. It eventually opened up to the general public. At this anniversary, what resonates with the team is just how hard it is to constantly keep privacy as the focus of an email application.
At the four-year mark, the team has created an eminently usable and reliable email service. It may not supplant giants like Gmail or Outlook, but at least people now have a choice. That’s perhaps the services most enduring legacy.
The main lesson of the past four years is that bringing online privacy to the world is a lot harder than we expected. On email itself, our work is still far from finished.