A Reminder of How We Use Data and Protect Privacy

Changing Communications
4 min readFeb 10, 2020


To keep our Edison Mail app free, and to protect your privacy by rejecting an advertising-based business model, our company Edison Software, measures e-commerce through a technology that automatically recognizes commercial emails and extracts anonymous purchase information from them. Our technology is designed to ignore personal and work email, which does not help us measure market trends.

Edison puts privacy first in everything we do as a company and that includes making our users aware of how we use their data in our products. You have complete control over how your information is used and we allow you to opt-out of data sharing in our research product, without impacting your app experience. We strive to be as transparent as possible about our business practices in our press communications, Edison Mail website, Edison Trends website, privacy policy, blog posts, on our app store pages, on social media, and of course, in our app itself. We do not participate in any ad targeting of our users and do not allow others to do ad targeting of our users.

All Edison Mail users must decide whether they accept or decline our policies before they can use the app. Screenshot shows Edison Mail’s initial setup presented to each new app user that downloads the app.

We intentionally keep our consumer and business products under a single brand to ensure that our consumer users are familiar with our business model.

Our continued transparency is showcased in our public Tweets. Here is a tweet dialogue from our customer service team in 2018.

Our mission is to provide an independent and free email app that is NOT backed by an ad-based business model. There are two reasons why this mission is critical — 1) consumers need to have a choice for a free email app and 2) users have a right to privacy.

Our research-backed business model allows us to provide a privacy-focused and viable free email app that consumers want. We discuss this further on our blog.

We launched our Edison Trends e-commerce research product that provides insights about shopping trends from aggregated and anonymized transaction data extracted with permission from our Edison Mail app users. Research from Edison Trends is often used by the nation’s leading press reporting on retail trends — including outlets like The Wall Street Journal, PCMag, Bloomberg, and more. Our Edison Trends research has been cited in more than 1,500 press articles in the past three years. Anyone — including users of Edison Mail — can read about Edison Trends research in the news almost daily. You can see examples of the research we create from the data we collect on our research page and in the following chart.

Sample chart from Edison Trends research report about 2018 Nike Labor Day online sales following Colin Kaepernick ad campaign. Read the report here.

The use of anonymized data for research to facilitate learning is a wide practice used by many types of organizations — from the U.S. Census, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), banks, credit card companies and more. Edison Mail users have the option, at any time, to opt-out of data sharing for Edison Trends research or delete any data we collect with no impact to their app experience.

In 2018, our email app and business model was mentioned in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in an article referencing how our app allows users to opt-out of data sharing in our research at will.

Stay Informed

Our team at Edison also hopes that press and consumers alike will take the time to learn more about companies like us to better understand how data is being used, and which players are truly worth being wary of vs. those that are working hard to offer great products in a transparent manner, without infringing on their own user’s privacy.

As an email app, we hope all of our users understand the access they allow when they connect us to their accounts in order for us to keep the app free, independent and ad-free. We use that access to provide our services and build new AI-enabled email features. We communicate that clearly, our users always had to give us permission, and have the ability to opt-out of data sharing for research at any time.

We continue to put privacy first at Edison Software — we do not target our users for ads and we actively prevent other companies from tracking them in our app. We want to point you to our overview of all the privacy standards we have in place at Edison.

We thank and appreciate all our Edison Mail users, and we strive every day to create the best independent email app, without sacrificing your privacy.