Furthering the privacy conversation in DC


Published on September 22, 2017

Nothing is more important than the privacy of our users. Hundreds of millions of people entrust Dropbox with their information every day. Being worthy of their trust is a company value that guides the daily work of everyone at Dropbox.   

Dropbox has a long history of leading on privacy and transparency. We were one of the first companies to publish a transparency report about government requests for data, and we developed publicly available principles describing our approach to such requests.   

We've also consistently advocated for reforms to better protect privacy online including when we joined with others in the industry to work for passage of the USA Freedom Act in 2015.  

This work to ensure privacy online continues. Earlier this month I traveled to Washington for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s leadership conference to speak on privacy and increasing transparency regarding government access to data.   

While I was in DC, I also took the opportunity to make sure Congress knows where we stand on several important privacy issues. Congress is working to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a program set to expire at the end of the year. We believe any proposal to reauthorize this program should include greater transparency and increased judicial oversight. (A more complete list of reforms we support is here.) I was encouraged by the reforms that I heard many members of Congress discussing, and as a company we will continue to support efforts to expand privacy protections.   

There’s also bipartisan agreement that our laws should be updated to require police to obtain a warrant before they can access emails or other online communications. Amazingly, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act—passed in 1986, when clouds provided rain and not a place to store your files or collaborate—hasn’t been modernized to fix that yet. We’re encouraged by the reform proposals working their way through Congress—but there’s still a lot of work to be done to enact them. 

As Congress grapples with these issues, one thing you can count on is that we’ll keep doing everything in our power to safeguard our users’ information and advocate for Congress to enact strong privacy protections across the board. 

Bart Volkmer, General Counsel