Five Privacy & Free Speech Mistakes that Can Sink a Startup and How to Prevent Them

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Privacy & Free Speech: It’s Good for Business is your essential guide to avoiding costly privacy and free speech missteps that can destroy user trust, lead to government investigations and expensive lawsuits, and damage the bottom line. 

With more than 100 real-life case studies and cutting-edge recommendations on everything from privacy policies to security planning to community standards, this ACLU of California guide will help you make the smart proactive decisions necessary to avoid problems, protect users, and grow your business.

Learn more and view the guide online at

Here are five common privacy and free speech mistakes that can sink a startup and how the guide can help you prevent them:

1. Respect your data »

Avoid Magna Carta-level mistakes by collecting only the data you need for your product and making sure that your algorithms and data use protect users and avoid replicating real world biases. 

2. Create a secure data ecosystem » 

Security isn’t just about outside threats – companies need to limit internal access to data to avoid Uber-embarrassment, incorporate encryption for data collection and storage to prevent disastrous breaches, and collaborate with security researchers to protect users.

3. Be transparent about practices »

Clear descriptions of privacy practices are essential to avoiding PR disasters, whether the product is a music streaming servicea useful app, or a connected “Internet of Things” device.

4. Encourage speech by empowering users »

Create cohesive communities and avoid harmful, speech-chilling harassment by creating platforms with tools that empower usersaccount policies that respect user identities, and narrow rules focused on bad behavior rather than content censorship.

5. Fight for your users » 

Companies that support user privacy and speech protections routinely receive praise, while those that seek to limit how products are used or that fold to legal demands lose the trust of users and public alike.

Learn more and view the primer online at or download a PDF copy of the guide. Here’s a roadmap of the guide’s recommendations.

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