I was really, really present on social media this week, but in case you missed it, our startup held a party at NFT.NYC, a major crypto conference. The party was held at the New York Stock Exchange, including on the trading floor. It was very cool to see our logo up on the screens there. Maybe we’ll be back when Proof of Learn goes public. 😉

At the same time, driving back after the Solana event the next day, I heard the news from the Supreme Court decision. I won’t hit the politics of this decision much here; suffices to say that I’m pro-choice for a myriad of reasons, even though I have moral qualms about the procedure. There are so many exceptions to the usual trope of “consequences” of voluntary sex that I’d much rather leave this to women and their doctors.

For this space, I do want to highlight some angles that are important for product managers and businesses to consider. Because of how anti-abortion state laws are being written, your companies and products may become involuntary investigators against pregnant women seeking medical services (and beyond, if this trend continues). It’s no longer just state AGs you will need to worry about, but any activist… or worse, I fear, someone with an entrepreneurial mind that wants to collect the “bounty” on each lawsuit. We should all be thinking abou what data we need to collect and whether the risks outweigh the potential business benefit we’re seeking.

  • We Need to Take Back Our Privacy: First, Zeynep Tufekci spells out the risks of these aggregated data pools, and how they will likely get abused. Good place to start, even though it’s a long post.
  • What Companies Can Do Now to Protect Digital Rights In A Post-Roe World: Follow that up with this article from the EFF, which spells out some things you and your company should consider to make sure you’re not a data source. Taking this seriously will prompt difficult conversations for your company - tradeoffs where the default or easiest path is to just collect and share data. If you care about your customers, you want to be a brand that people trust. Don’t end up in an article about how your app contributed to some woman going to jail for possibly life-saving treatment.
  • Four Takeaways From a Times Investigation Into China’s Expanding Surveillance State: The Chinese government is the world leader in surveillance. Much of the data in private hands in the US could be aggregated and used in very similar ways.

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