The “Privacy Tax” and other ethical expenses

  • A video player that circumvents Youtube cookies (Privacy tax: ~$18K)
  • A donation platform with fraud detection and accessibility features for screen readers (User safety and inclusion tax: ~$18K)
  • An event RSVP product that doesn’t track users (Privacy tax: ~$12K)
  • An A/B testing tool that only tracks experimental content (like fundraising copy), and not users (Privacy tax: $600)
“Anti-troll toll” might be more fitting
  • Building a scrubbing product so we can honor a user’s “right to be forgotten” —a product that automates data removal from dozens of database, while also maintaining data integrity
  • Meeting world-class GDPR+ standards, which is work that never ends when you operate in multiple countries. (The recent Schrems II decision, still being interpreted, will have product and data implications.)
  • Auditing our entire tech stack by multiple ethical AI firms, at great time and expense



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Michael Linares

Michael Linares

Product Director @ Crisis Text Line