Open-Xchange, the leading provider of email, collaboration, file and document management software for hosting, service provider and telecommunications companies, has today announced a partnership with European privacy-protecting search engine Qwant, to develop a new and ethical email platform. The inaugural collaboration between the two companies will make use of Open-Xchange’s expertise in secure, scalable email solutions and Qwant’s existing web infrastructure to allow consumers to search and communicate securely and privately. This will form the nucleous of of a much needed European alternative to the de-facto email and search monopolies which collect, process and sell their users personal data.
Qwant’s search engine pioneers a more user centric approach to advertising by ensuring its users are never targeted or tracked when using its web services. Subscribers to the new platform will be able to decide what kind of advertising is acceptable to them without the platform tracking and selling their data. Available globally in 2017, the integrated email platform will offer full OX App Suite functionality including email, calendar, file-sharing and online office productivity.
“We are delighted to collaborate with Qwant on an alternative email and search solution to give Internet users everywhere the freedom of choice and privacy they deserve to control how their data is used,” said Rafael Laguna, CEO at Open-Xchange. “This service will be open to everyone and tailored to the preferences of the user, just like the Internet should be. This is a first for the search industry which has traditionally focused on capturing and profiting from user’s private search data, and is a great opportunity to expand this approach to all our subscribers on other platforms.”
The free service will be financed by a more acceptable user-driven approach to advertising, where individuals can select what ad topics are relevant to their needs and interests. Search history and other user data will not be tracked or sold. Email communication can be secured using the Open-Xchange one-click PGP encryption technology: OX Guard.
“Together with Open-Xchange, we‘re excited to create an alternative email, search and collaboration platform that respects user privacy,” said Eric Leandri, CEO and co-founder at Qwant. “We’re seeing increased demand for security and privacy-first Internet experiences and this platform — to be hosted in Germany — will adhere to the gold standard of strict EU and national data protection regulations.”
A first proof of concept for this approach which integrates Qwants Internet search with email, calendar, contact, task management, filesharing and office productivity service is available for registration to end users as of today at ox.io. The service includes a 2 GB mail quota with an additional 2 GB of cloud storage.
The service is hosted in Berlin under strict German data protection legislation by Heinlein Support (mailbox.org). User-controlled advertising as well as an ad-free paid option will be added in the coming months.