Proton Adds Privacy-Safe Google Doc Alternative to Its Productivity Suite

Image Credit: Proton

Proton Adds Privacy-Safe Google Doc Alternative to Its Productivity Suite

Reading time: 15 min

  • Shipra Sanganeria

    Written by: Shipra Sanganeria Cybersecurity & Tech Writer

  • Justyn Newman

    Fact-Checked by Justyn Newman Head Content Manager

Proton announced the addition of Docs to its end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) suite of work tools on July 3rd. Dubbed Docs in Proton Drive, this new web-based document editing and collaboration tool offers usual features and functionalities found in online word processing apps.

Proton says its secure and user-friendly Doc is an alternative to established document editing and collaboration tools like Google Doc and Microsoft 365.

“This landmark addition to Proton’s suite of privacy-focused products provides a robust alternative to existing document editors like Google Docs, ensuring that privacy and security are paramount — without compromising on vital features,” Anant Vijay, Senior Product Manager for ProtonMail and Proton Drive said in a blog post.

Documents in Protin Drive seem quite similar to Google Docs, per the first screenshots shared by the company. It comes with standard features such as rich text options, multimedia support, compatibility with multiple file types, and real-time collaboration.

“One thing that we’ve heard a lot from both businesses and also consumers is that they need a document product, because Google Docs is the reason they stay on Google,” Proton founder and CEO Andy Yen told WIRED in an interview. “It will look and feel a bit like Google Docs, because in fact, it’s supposed to be easy for people to adopt.”

However, the thing which separates it from other popular document editing and collaboration tools is E2E encryption. Docs comes protected with end-to-end encryption, which is a standard feature of all Proton products. The company says that only the document’s creator and those they share it with can view the file; Proton cannot access the contents.

The company emphasized that, unlike “Big Tech companies that collect and monetize [user] private information” and use a users’ content to “train privacy-invading AI models,” every Proton Doc, keystroke, file path, and cursor are encrypted in real-time.

The product, set to be available to all users in the coming days, is still in development. Proton also shared with TechCrunch that upcoming features currently in development will soon be accessible, with plans to introduce more robust multi-user collaboration capabilities for both individual and business users (free and paid) in the future.

Following the acquisition of encrypted note-taking app Standard Notes in April this year, the addition of Docs to Proton’s encrypted cloud storage was expected. Proton, a Swiss-based privacy-focused software maker, is renowned for its E2EE webmail service (ProtonMail), VPN, cloud storage, and password manager services.

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