We want to be a leader in privacy technology and continue to release our code as free software so others can build on our solutions and raise global standards of privacy and security. We are not yet where we want to be but we have high aspirations.
We intend to add multi-device synchronization and other sharing and collaboration features. This is in our roadmap; new features will be continuously announced as they become available.
PrivateStorage currently allows single-device (desktop) synchronization with our servers (the cloud). When folders are added to PrivateStorage on your device they are automatically synced to the cloud.
PrivateStorage also enables file recovery. In the event that you can no longer access your device running PrivateStorage, you are able to recover the most recent version of your files using your Recovery Key.
PrivateStorage traces its origins to 2011, with the creation of Tahoe-LAFS: the Least-Authority File Store (or Tahoe-LAFS), a free software, decentralized, encrypted storage system.
In 2013, Least Authority's founder Zooko Wilcox announced the launch of PrivateStorage's precursor, S4, which was built on Tahoe-LAFS. S4 was launched in light of the PRISM scandal to enable individuals and businesses to have the benefits of cloud storage without having to compromise control over their data. As Zooko said at the time, "it is intended to prevent mass, indiscriminate surveillance of everyone at once."
During this time, a subsystem of Tahoe-LAFS called "magic-folder" had some initial grant-funded development. We subsequently moved this to a separate project, improved its underlying data-model and continue to use it as the core synchronization logic.
Additionally, work was done to add Gridsync, a graphical user interface (GUI) that serves as the underlying UI of PrivateStorage (and whose lead developer now works for PrivateStorage). Gridsync helps to make PrivateStorage more user-friendly than its precursor, S4. Extensive improvements and UX changes have been made ahead of the launch of PrivateStorage.
In 2021 we launched the zero-knowledge access passes (ZKAPs) whitepaper, which details one of PrivateStorage's key innovations: disassociating payment information from usage of the software, a milestone in privacy enhancement.
PrivateStorage was officially launched in 2022.