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If you have an app that never sends any information to any server, what would be the best way to communicate this via the UI?


Background:

I produce an app that stores data chosen by the user, encrypts it and digitally signs it, and sends it to other users of the app. Users' data never hits my server, not even as ciphertext.

What UX techniques will help users understand that no data is ever sent to my servers?

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  • So your server doesn't even save encrypted version of the user's data? What about when user does #3? Is it Peer to Peer? – Jung Lee Oct 23 '15 at 22:13
  • Yes it's P2P. My server stores nothing. Ever. @junglee It's based on patened encryption that allows for this 3 part privacy to occur. – halfbit Oct 23 '15 at 22:16
  • Please make this question general enough that the answer could be useful to other readers of this site. As it stands, you're basically asking for suggestions to fix a specific problem that only you have. I am putting in on hold, but if you improve it to meet the site guidelines, it can be reviewed to re-open. – JohnGB Oct 24 '15 at 0:32
  • This is a great question about building trust with users and communicating back-end details in a way that users can understand. I hope the community is willing to reopen it and allow others to weigh in. – plainclothes Jan 26 '16 at 21:35
  • @LamonteCristo - it seems to me that this is a unique enough scenario (2016) that it needs to be explicitly stated in a variety of places and that an icon should be associated with it. Then - whenever there is an upload link that icon (or perhaps simply the phrase "No Data is sent to XXX servers" is appended to the link. – Mayo Jan 26 '16 at 22:03
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I assume that your users wish their data to remain utterly private.

Why not simply tell it as it is?

Some form of banner or click box to be ticked during sign-up which specifys "None of your encrypted data stored by us - ever. Guaranteed." or similar.

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As YorkshireDave said, give the user this info on signup. Give it simply and to the point. But also give them this info at the point at which they're most likely to consider security of their information again while using the app. If there's a Save button or a Send button, try to incorporate this into the UI by visually associating it with that button.

You may even try to rename the button "Save Securely" or "Send Securely" with a little info icon next to it that gives a modal popup with more detail... ideally with a little image that illustrates the encryption and sending process with the fact that no server holds the user's info highlighted.

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I can see two places where such a message would be useful/important:

  1. On the install screen where you have the overview of your application:

    Your data is encrypted and sent directly to the other users you have selected. At no point is any of your data stored on our servers.

  2. On the "Help > About" dialog (should such a dialog exist in your application). You can either re-use the wording from the install screen or go into more details.

Less useful/important would be to include this information on a dialog/screen every time the user sends a message as this would get in the way of the message sending workflow. If "the powers that be" insist on having this, then make it so the user can select a "don't show me this again" option when dismissing the dialog.

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