Due to the way our beta invite signup page went viral on Tuesday night, over 50,000 people are now asking the question, “What is Connect.Me?” We’re launching the Connect.Me blog today at SXSW to start to answer that question.

While we’re not yet ready to say what Connect.Me the product is about, we are ready to say what Connect.Me the company is about. A great place to start is with this wonderful illustration (by Joe Zeff Design) from this week’s TIME magazine article by Joel Stein on Your Data For Sale.



We’re about a solution to this problem. How people can have trusted relationships with businesses and communities on the web without sacrificing their privacy or surreptitiously surrendering their personal data.

Another article this week from Huffington Post paints the options this way:

Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs argued that technological tools, rather than government regulation, should be used to better safeguard users’ privacy online.

“I never rely on the government to lead something, it just takes too long,” he said in an interview with The Huffington Post. “Capitalism works.”

Yet privacy experts counter that regulators must intervene to ensure consumers’ interests are taken into account together with companies’ priorities.

“The FTC and a bunch of other folks asked industry to self-regulate over the last several years and it’s actually gotten exponentially worse,” said Mary Hodder, chairman of the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium. “I don’t think companies can control themselves and do the right thing in the face of getting all this user data.”

At Connect.Me we believe there’s a third way – a win/win/win for people, businesses, and regulators that aligns everyone’s incentives to protect personal data and build stronger trust relationships. Over the next few days at SXSW, we’ll describe what we believe are the key requirements for this solution.