ProtonMail is having a PR crisis as a result the revelation that the company logged a user’s IP address at the behest of authorities.
ProtonMail has built its reputation as one of the most private and secure email services, providing end-to-end encryption. Despite that, French authorities wanted information on an activist being monitored.
According to TechCrunch, ProtonMail did not initially cooperate with the French authorities. In response, the French enlisted the aid of authorities in Switzerland, where ProtonMail is based. While the company doesn’t log IP addresses by default, it will do so if local authorities require it to.
With Swiss authorities aiding their French counterparts, ProtonMail was compelled to log the user’s IP and turn it over. In doing so, the company showed the privacy it provides has its limits — that limit being whatever the Swiss government says it is.