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Why I won't be signing up for a Pixily account

[caption id="attachment_111" align="alignright" width="300" caption="A message to you... beware the angry grammarian with the red ink."]The original attachment.[/caption]

I saw an ad in Evernote for Pixily Pixily a "secure document scanning service.". I clicked, and was disappointed, because they don't seem to understand security. Rather than the wise thing, which was to walk away, I decided to give them a piece of my mind.

To: press@pixily.com

As an Evernote user, I like the idea of Pixily, but in order to use your service, you must correct what are in my view critical problems with the service.

First of all, see my attached corrections and suggestions for your Security page. It has several grammatical errors and omissions which decrease my confidence in the service. Keep in mind that I took about two minutes to mark up what's obviously wrong above the "fold" on my monitor; there are deeper issues with the tone and style of the whole page.

Secondly, you describe your security process in insufficient detail for me to trust it, or to trust you with my data and documents. As someone who deals with security issues daily as system administrator for a large hosted e-commerce provider, I know a couple things about security, and I strongly dislike the idea of my private documents sitting in some datacenter. Why not send my documents back after they're scanned? Or shred them?

A scan-and-shred service I would use, because:

  • I avoid paper when I can.
  • Most of what I want scan I no longer want the hard copies of.
  • It would give me great comfort to know that the physical copy of a document NO LONGER exists, anywhere.

If you don't shred them, then what do you do when I cancel and want my documents back? There's a missing piece here.

Be bold about your encryption schemes — PKS? AES? Encrypted disk images? Steganography? I'm not gonna trust this unless you tell me how you think you're going to protect my data, and I agree with your assessment. You must be security professionals to do what you do, so talk the talk.

It's dumb, I know, but I would actually trust your company more if I saw pictures of real people working there, with their names and backgrounds. You score points for not using stock photos like everyone else, but lose points because you don't tell a good story or tell me about the real people who are Pixily. Right now, your "team" page comes off as a VC pitch, and a cursory scan of your blog gives me no information about who YOU are, you people who run Pixily, and that makes my purse strings tighten.

You bought my attention with your advertisement in Evernote, so I thought I'd be candid about why I won't use your service. If you address my concerns I may become a customer and, since I'm certain that I'm not the only one with these objections, you may gain a bevy more just like me.

By the way, I'm cross-posting this to my blog and Twitter; demonstrate to me that you deserve positive press if you want the accolades of a well-run and trustworthy business.


  • Fred.