Our new ShuttleCloud Spotlight series aims to bring attention to email providers who are innovating and striving to improve their user experience. In our first spotlight we spoke to Hanna Bozakov, the Press Officer of Tutanota.
1. How would you describe the mission of Tutanota as an email provider?
Tutanota was founded in 2011 with a very clear mission: Bring privacy to the world.
Every step we take as a company must stand up to this criterion: Are we protecting the privacy of our users? In the short run, this makes building a successful product more complex as we can’t take any short-cuts. The privacy and security of our users is paramount. This has led to tough development decisions such as building our own push notification system on Android instead of simply using Google Push.
In the long run, though, this strategy pays off. We are well respected as the best secure email service that focuses on privacy 100%, comes with zero tracking, and encrypts the most data. For example, Tutanota also encrypts subject lines and calendar event reminders – this high level of security is unrivaled by any of our competitors.
2. When and where was Tutanota founded?
The company behind Tutanota, the Tutao GmbH, was founded in 2011 in Hanover, Germany. We launched Tutanota early in 2014, shortly after the Snowden leaks. This was a big scandal at the time: The NSA snooping on US citizens. The interest in a more private and secure communication than mainstream services like Gmail or Outlook was – and still is – very high.
3. When was the first email sent from Tutanota?
The first email from one of our users was sent on our official release on March 24th, 2014. But of course, we did send emails with an alpha prototype much earlier than that. Encrypted email needs to be tested and verified before it can go public. You can’t build such a complex client as Tutanota in a matter of weeks.
4. What is one unique thing about Tutanota?
What is unique about Tutanota is its unrivaledlevel of security.
From the start, we at Tutanota baked end-to-end encryption into the code. Tutanota was the world's first end-to-end encrypted email provider and, to this day, it is the email service that encrypts more data than any other.
Here’s everything that Tutanota encrypts:
• Emails, including subject lines and attachments
• Calendar entries, even metadata such as who is attending
• Entire address book, not just parts of the contacts
Basically, all data in Tutanota is secure and kept hidden from prying eyes. The only data that is not encrypted is when you send a normal email, one without end-to-end encryption, to another email provider. But in that case, it is obvious that the data can not be end-to-end encrypted and people aware of the need for privacy would not send a sensitive email unencrypted.
5. What's next for Tutanota?
We’ve just released offline support, which was a huge step, particularly as Tutanota does not support IMAP so you can’t download your emails into a local mail client. The reason for this, again, is security: If we allowed IMAP, then the data would not be encrypted locally on your device. But as we at Tutanota promise security, we must make sure that the data is always secured – no matter where the user stores it.
Offline support fixes this: Now users can store their emails, calendars, and contacts locally on their devices in the Tutanota clients, and all data there is still encrypted.
The next big feature that we want to release is post-quantum secure encryption. This way, we will make sure that all data in Tutanota stays secure even if quantum computers – that will be able to break currently used encryption – become a reality.
Tutanota has made absolutely no compromises in their approach to security—something we have huge respect for here at ShuttleCloud. Join us next time on ShuttleCloud Spotlights to learn more about the innovators of the email world!