Alternatives to Calendar Lock PEA

Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, Microsoft Outlook

When you buy a smartphone or PC, there's usually a calendar application pre-installed. And these calendar applications work well and are easy to use. That's why many people use Google Calendar, Apple Calendar or Microsoft Outlook.

Many people know it, but displace it: Your calendar data is collected and processed for commercial purposes. And calendar data in particular is sensitive. Not only do you deliver your personal appointments, but calendar dates often also contain data about other people.

Privacy Focus

The Calendar Lock PEA tries to protect sensitive calendar data as much as possible. As a result, you have to download an application, enter your password each time you use it, and so on. Other applications choose a different compromise between security and usability, may have more features and other advantages.

While there are a lot of alternatives to the Notebook PEA or the File Lock PEA, alternatives to the Calendar Lock PEA are a rarity. To my knowledge, the Calendar Lock PEA is the only desktop application of its kind as of today (end of 2019). But there are now some online calendar applications that also claim security and privacy.

Blockstack logo

Blockstack Apps

Blockstack is an open source decentralized platform for applications that protects your privacy, e.g. by encrypting data by default. Blockstack uses the Bitcoin blockchain and asymmetric crytography (ECDSA) for authentication; the key is associated with the Blockstack ID.

The fact that not the developers of the apps implement the cryptography, but the platform, certainly minimizes the occurrence of bugs.

Blockstack had to find a compromise between security and usability. They have chosen a comfortable level where no password has to be entered. But this means that anyone who has access to your laptop, etc., can read your calendar. The block stack architecture protects against the data collection of large services and this is huge benefit. But the platform does not achieve much more.

However, if you are comfortable with the fact that your calendar data is mainly protected from being collected by the big services, Secure Calendar and OI Calendar of the Blockstack platform are a good choice.

OI Calendar

Screenshot of OI Calendar

OI Calendar is an easy to use online calendar. You can import events from Google Calendar by URL, other events by ics files, for Android there is OI Calendar-Sync, you can switch between month, week, day and agenda view, and you can add guests by their blockstack id. The events - except the public ones - are encrypted with your private key for OI Calendar, using a MAC for authentication.

Creating new events or modifying existing events is simple and intuitive.

Screenshot of event setting of OI Calendar

OI Calendar is new (version v0.8.7 of 2019) and still lacks some important features, like recurring dates (birthdays...), recurrence rules, but maybe this is just a matter of time.

Source Code: on Github (MIT license), Organization: OpenIntents

Secure Calendar

Screenshot of Secure Calendar

Secure Calendar claims to be a secure, end-to-end encrypted, and privacy respecting calendar. Privacy and security are based solely on the Blockstack architecture.

There are fewer features than for the OI Calendar and there is not yet the possibility to import events from other calendars, but this may be added later. Beside that the design is clear and easy to use.

Main Page: Secure Calendar
Source code: GitHub

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