It is (still) alive

My prediction was wrong. A product I had seen on CeBIT last year – the Tutanota webmail application – is still in business while I had predicted it would not be. The product’s idea is to provide a web interface for email and to store the emails encrypted „in the cloud“.

None of the issues I criticised a year ago have been resolved:

  • It is still required to trust the application provider not to eavesdrop on your emails. The company does no longer mention evaluation and certification of their product to document that they do not have to be trusted.
  • Unencrypted emails (to/from non-participating partners) will still be available for eavesdropping at the mail transfer agents.
  • Since many companies today use Microsoft Outlook/Exchange, a webmail client does not fit well with this existing infrastructure. Oh, and there already exist several other, more user-friendly webmail services.

The company announces in a movie posted on their website that they want to lead the German market for secure email communication by 2016. Good luck. Deutsche Post embarked on a similar effort more than ten years ago, better funded, and failed.

Let us review the product one year from now and see whether it still exists, has solved some of its issues, and let us see if it is able to attract funding from customers (not just venture capital).

About Author: Hanno Langweg

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