April 2, 2014
From the CEO of Blink...
I'm Kevin Stephens, co-founder and CEO of Blink. I'd like to correct a number of misunderstandings in this review. First, our goal is to allow people to be themselves, as honest and spontaneous as they want. That means protecting everyone -- including and especially teens -- from the permanent record. The Internet is written in ink, and when teens use apps like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, they often make statements that they regret years later, such as when seeking admission to a college or trying to find a job. Conversations that we have in person are by nature private and ephemeral. Why is it that when we move our conversation to a mobile device, we give up that privacy and ephemerality? We want to bring the same privacy and ephemerality that you take for granted in the real world to your mobile device. That's a very good thing for teens, who typically have not yet mastered their "filter." Many of the statements in the above review are unfortunately misleading or are flat out false. For example, if a user voluntarily chooses to register using Facebook, we store *only* their name and email address. Nothing more. We use Facebook to connect people to Facebook friends, not to mine data, as this review implies. We specifically do not offer screenshot detection because it gives users a false sense of security. Even our competitors call screenshot detection "a gimmick." The parents we spoke with unanimously supported this decision. Further, most messaging apps require users to use their phone numbers as their identity within the app. We allow users to choose their own ID as their identity, thereby ensuring your phone number stays private. That means that when you add a friend, you do not need to give out your phone number. I'd be happy to answer questions about how the app handles user data and privacy, and I encourage the reviewer and the team at Common Sense Media to contact me directly and I'll be more than happy to answer any other questions about our product. We set out from day 1 to build an app that is the most private means of communicating online, and we've given our users a substantial number of tools to enable that. Please feel free to email me: kevin (at) blinkapp.co. (That's .co, not .com.) Thanks! Kevin Stephens Co-founder & CEO, Blink