Skip to content

Company defends letter circulating in Port Coquitlam urging people to join online neighbour app

Nextdoor Canada is expanding to the Tri-Cities with its app to connect neighbours and share "kindness," but one resident is concerned about the sharing of personal information
Open mail box mail keys - Getty Images
Opened mail box. A Port Coquitlam resident is suspicious about a letter she got in the mail inviting her to sign up for an app.

A Port Coquitlam resident is raising the alarm about an app meant to bring neighbours together online.

Marlene Sikorra contacted the Tri-City News about a letter she received in her mailbox suggesting she sign up for an app called Nextdoor.

The letter, addressed to her as a resident of her neighbourhood, said a neighbour was trying to get the local bulletin board established so people could help each other find lost pets, organize a babysitter, sell an old bike and get safety alerts.

But Sikorra wasn't buying it.

She's afraid of having her personal information widely shared.

"We all are becoming more and more vulnerable to more forms of personal information we put out there," Sikorra wrote in an email.

The Coquitlam RCMP agree and do not recommend people sign up for the Nextdoor app.

"It’s better to go and knock on your neighbours' door," said Const. Deanna Law, a spokesperson for the Mounties.


She said police are always concerned about people signing up for online apps where people's personal information might be collected, or misused by hackers who might misrepresent as a friend to unlock personal social media accounts.

"We do not recommend anyone join any app," Law said.

In an email to the Tri-City News, a spokesperson for Nextdoor Canada said Nextdoor is being used in countries around the world to promote "kindness," provide "trusted recommendations" and help people build "healthier communities."

Christopher Doyle said letters are double verified by the person initiating the contact, so they aren't sent in error.

"The invitation letters that are sent contain the name and street name of the sender so that other neighbours know who the invitation is from," said Doyle, who is the managing director for Nextdoor Canada. "Every neighbour-to-neighbour invitation sent on behalf of a Nextdoor neighbour is done with the neighbour’s permission, through a double confirmation process, to limit the possibility of this being done in error."

He questioned the Coquitlam RCMP's concern noting that some B.C. law enforcement agencies, including Prince George RCMP, use Nextdoor, and that local businesses use it to share deals with neighbours.


As for information sharing, Doyle said the app only requires "address information to verify you live in the neighbourhood and in fact, this makes us a safer destination than other platforms."

Investment information provided for 2021 for the San Francisco-based company, indicates Nextdoor has 29 million users. 

"Our purpose is to cultivate a kinder world where everyone has a neighbourhood they can rely on," the website states.

"Neighbours around the world turn to Nextdoor daily to receive trusted information, give and get help, get things done, and build real-world connections with those nearby — neighbours, businesses, and public services."