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WitKit launches collaboration platform with ‘unbreachable’ data

WitKit launches collaboration platform with ‘unbreachable’ data

Is there room in the market for another work collaboration platform?

Vancouver-based WitKit thinks so, and is today releasing a public beta of its collaboration product of the same name.

The big differentiator for WitKit, according to CEO and cofounder Sean Merat, is that “your data is unbreachable.”

“We’ve brought end-to-end security to a full suite,” he told us, via the platform’s proprietary WitCrypt.

Huddle, Podio, Slack, and other collaboration platforms also offer encryption, Merat said, but only in segments of their platforms.

“By having this [end-to-end encryption], users can create one network,” he said, providing solid security even in communications with external vendors or collaborators. Encryption and decryption are only conducted on local user devices, not on centralized servers. Data sent to WitKit’s servers is fully encrypted, decryptable only with the user’s passphrase.

When on-screen communications are encrypted, they show the kind of black bars familiar to fans of unredacted national security documents.

A not-yet-decrypted screen in WitKit

A not-yet-decrypted screen in WitKit

Above: A not-yet-decrypted screen in WitKit

Encryption is one-way, so data stored on Google Drive or Dropbox — with which WitKit is integrated — is encrypted when it is moved into the platform.

The encryption technology is published on GitHub for auditing, Merat said. If the company were to go out of business, users have the capability to decrypt all of their data.

Three years in development, the platform offers the capabilities one expects for collaboration. There are customizable workspaces that can be set up for any project or task — here called Kits — as well as private and group messaging, task management, calendaring, posting, video conferencing, an API for third party applications, and similar functions.

An Activities screen in WitKit

An Activities screen in WitKit

Above: An Activities screen in WitKit

The company, which has received $5 million in funding, says the current level of functionality will always remain free.

“In the future,” Merat said, “we’ll charge for additional functionality,” although he added those functions are still being determined.

As are such details as additional storage. Each user gets a whopping 50 gigabyte chunk of storage for free. But, while Merat said additional storage was available under some terms, he didn’t yet know what those would be.

“We’re still working out the logistics,” he said.

At the moment, “no one’s come close” to that limit among the current 4000 or so users, representing around 400 companies worldwide that are using the platform, he said.

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