To Boldly Declare Where Few Companies Have Declared Before: FullContact's 5 Laws of Privacy

FullContact's CEO, Bart Lorang, has just posted the company's 5 Laws of Privacy. Small wonder--they are in the business of upgrading your contacts by providing an address book in the cloud that fills in contact details. Any user would have a simple question: what happens to data I give to the company?

Before we get to that, here's what they do. FullContact can upgrade contact information you might have, say someone's email address, to having a full-fledged address book entry with their photo, address, phone number, and social media contact info.  As explained in a PRWeb release appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle:

"FullContact’s mission is to “solve the world’s contact information problem” and currently provides a rich suite of Contact Management APIs that include contact enrichment, deduplication, name normalization and location normalization. Companies like PRNewswire, UserVoice, SnapEngage, Yesware, and Pardot use FullContact to turn partial contacts into full contacts with rich social profiles to help their clients better relate to customers."

Here are the 5 laws:

  1. Your Trust is of the Utmost Importance To Us, and We Will Never Betray It
  2. Your Contact Data and Your Contact Record is Yours
  3. Your Private Data is Private
  4. Your Data is Protected
  5. Your Data is Portable

The first law is clarified as: FullContact gives you a place to keep your address book up to date, but the company won't sell your data. The second law means that you have full control over what, if anything from your address, gets shared with others. In the third law, "Your Private Data is Private," FullContact notes that while you can share your private contact data, that is totally up to you. The fourth law, protection,  simply means your data is both backed up and encrypted via SSL. And, lastly, you can take your data with you; you aren't trapped into always using FullContact.

These all make sense, and I had a "well, duh" feeling reading them. What's powerful about FullContact's move is that it stands out for having made such clear declarations. Wouldn't it be nice...if all companies were this explicit about their privacy principles?

See also Programmableweb's coverage of FullContact's Cardshark API

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