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Frequent Axalotl Questions
Hylo is in an early adopter phase. The platform is live in production, fully functional, and many groups are actively using it. Even so, we have more work to do before a big public launch (estimated for early 2023). We welcome input from everyone using Hylo, and encourage open source contributions like submitting feature ideas or even writing code! You can participate in the conversations about Building Hylo in this Hylo group.
Terran Collective is registered as an LLC in California, and we are the maintainers of Hylo, in partnership with Holo, Inc (https://holo.host). We also have a non-profit entity that is fiscally sponsored by Empowerment WORKS called Hylo Foundation. We are currently exploring the best future legal structure for Hylo that will ensure it stays purpose-driven in the long run and we welcome input on that process as well.
All user data is encrypted and passed through a secure connection via HTTPS when a user is active on Hylo. We have recently completed an audit of our user authentication code, and we follow best practices for session management, password storage, etc. We don’t yet have multi-factor auth support, but we are about to roll out a few more improvements that will pave the way for that in the future.
Hylo is hosted on Heroku, with some data storage on Amazon AWS servers as well. Digital Ocean hosts a proxy service that is involved in directing Hylo traffic to the appropriate servers. There are only a couple of trusted team members that have access to the production databases. We use 2FA to access our hosting services and use a company password manager. Users can contact our team for help managing their account via Intercom, and our policy is to only look at user data when asked to do so by those users. Users have the option to Deactivate or Delete their accounts in Settings. Beyond that, we are working to develop a more formal and thorough Data Protections Policy.
Work on Hylo is funded through donations and paid partnerships with aligned non-profit organizations. Some current and recent partners include OpenTEAM, Salmon Nation, Zebras Unite, and People-Centered Internet. We are seeking additional funding partners and are also pursuing larger philanthropic grants and donations to allow us to grow the Hylo community and deliver what is needed. We also receive support from monthly contributions from members of our community - you can donate here.
Hylo's long-term plan for financial sustainability is to add various ways for financial transactions to flow across the platform (community membership subscription fees, crowdfunding for projects or groups) with the option for users to offer transaction tips to support the platform. These will be optional donations and Hylo will remain free to use.
Coming soon! We are implementing this feature in the next few months, Spring 2023.