December 14, 2021

Opportunity: Freelance Engineering Support – Permission Slip

Ginny Fahs

Ginny Fahs is Associate Director of Product R&D at CR Digital Lab, where she leads a team pioneering new ways for consumers to take control of their data and digital lives.

We’re seeking a full stack software engineer with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for privacy to provide contract engineering support to the Digital Lab team. This is a remote opportunity for a seasoned engineer who wants to work on an experimental product and cares about advancing digital rights in the United States.

Scope:

  • You will be supporting the closed beta launch of Permission Slip, the app to manage your data, on iOS. Permission Slip is a new product that helps consumers exercise their right to control the data companies have about them. You can read about our past related work here.
  • You will be collaborating with a scrappy innovation team of interdisciplinary technologists, researchers, social entrepreneurs, and product experts;
  • Provide technical guidance on problem identification, system design, and implementation tradeoffs;
  • Liaise with our internal engineering team and external vendors to coordinate deployments, new features, and the use of associated technologies;
  • Complete engineering tasks on the front line of product launch and continued development, including triaging issues, fixing critical bugs, and deploying new versions of the app;
  • Propose a release management process for continuous improvement of the app, and help implement it;
  • Document decisions and recommend process improvements and workflows to help Consumer Reports better send data requests for consumers;
  • Research and propose architecture and design approaches that will allow the service to scale beyond MVP;
  • Help shape our product and engineering roadmap to leverage the latest open source advancements and industry standardization efforts for data privacy.

 

Qualifications:

  • 5+ years experience working as a software engineer and/or on a product team
  • Solid understanding and hands-on experiences with backend and iOS system development, as well as data safety and security best practices. 
  • Strong problem solving and coding skills. The app uses django and react native, so fluency with python and javascript is essential.
  • Knowledge of PostGres databases or other relational databases; RESTful web services; AWS/Heroku; Firebase;
  • Experience working with and deploying to Heroku and common add ons like Bucketeer and PaperTrail;
  • Experience implementing analytics event tracking;
  • Entrepreneurial mindset and nimble approach to app development;
  • Highly motivated and able to work both independently and across multiple teams;
  • Available to collaborate on U.S. hours (our team is split between Eastern and Pacific timezones)
  • Curiosity about privacy, data rights, consumer protection, or public interest technology

 

This is a contract opportunity, working remotely. Time commitment is estimated at 20-30 hours per week.

Interested applicants should get in touch, explain their interest and qualifications and attach a resume or CV. To apply or request more information, contact digitallab@cr.consumer.org.

Background:

Consumer Reports is a trusted and nationally recognized non-profit with an 85 year history conducting policy work at the federal and state levels. The CR Digital Lab builds consumer power in the digital economy, integrating research, products and advocacy to tilt the marketplace towards fairness and safety for consumers.

U.S. consumers have little control over the collection and sale of their personal data, which leads to profiling, manipulation, price discrimination and other practices that cut against consumers’ best interests. Regulations such as California’s CCPA and Europe’s GDPR seek to restore power to individuals but depend on consumers’ ability to meaningfully exercise their data rights.

In 2018, CR helped pass the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Mid-2020, the CR Digital Lab conducted a participatory study to understand how the CCPA is working for consumers and learned just how tough it can be for Californians to use the privacy rights the CCPA grants.

Next, the Lab kicked off a year of R&D to explore what emergent, consumer-facing services might be possible under the CCPA. We launched two pilot programs focused on the CCPA’s “authorized agent” provision (§999.326.), which allows consumers to designate a third party to issue data requests to companies on their behalf.

We continue to lay practical foundations for consumer data control in the U.S. through new products and services that help consumers manage their data. The work is crucial because, without good tooling, even highly-engaged and interested consumers are unlikely to be able to control their data or benefit from the many hidden insights it contains.

More From Digital Lab

Edit This
Bitnami