Shine is all about providing you the experience you want, and that includes providing you the privacy that you’re looking for. We’re never gonna give you up to 3rd-party sites, we’re never gonna let you down with poor privacy controls, and we’re never gonna run around and deceive you.
This all being said, there are some data collection features that Shine has. If you enable such features, Shine will collect certain data while you use the program and send it to a secure online storage location. This online data will only be accessed by Shine’s developers, and will only be used for the express purpose of benefitting Shine. The data we’re looking for can be divided into two types: usage data and error data.
Usage data helps us a lot by figuring out what people use, what they don’t use, and what we can do to help people use the things they use. We’re not recording keystrokes or clicks or anything like that; the usage data we’re looking for is a bit less intrusive.
While most privacy policies say things like “all data is anonymous” and “none of this information can individually identify you” (and these things also definitely apply here too!), they don’t really seem to delve much into what actually they’re looking for with this data. So allow us to deviate from the norm here.
Everything we collect is used to answer questions that we ask ourselves, such as:
- How many of our users have connected a Google account?
- How many of our users have connected more than one Google account?
- How many of our users are using Shine on Windows 10?
- How many of our users still haven’t updated to the new version?
- How many of our users have a touch screen?
- How many of our users have ever used the Year view?
- How many of our users have the menu bar always shown?
- How many of our users use extensions?
You’ll notice all of our questions start off the same way, “How many of our users…”. This is deliberately because we want to figure out numbers of people (represented as “x% of users who send in data”), rather than things like names and personal info of people. From our perspective, having your personal info won’t directly tie back into making Shine a better program; having these “how many” numbers will help a lot more.
We’ll try to collect this usage data once per month. If you have Windows 7 one month, and then update to Windows 10 another month, we’ll see the Windows 7 percentage decrease a bit, and the Windows 10 percentage increase a bit. We like monthly reports because we get a good, updated sense of numbers to help with developing for that month.
There is also one other type of data that we’re also looking for too: error data. If you ever come across an error or a problem while using Shine, we’d like to know what that error is, how it happened, and what we can do to fix it.
With error data, the specific things we’ll be looking to get are: 1. What error did you get. 2. Where in Shine did this error occur? 3. What version of Shine do you have? 4. What version of Windows do you have? 5. How many calendars do you have, and how many are connected to each account you have? We’ll be trying our best to collect data that is directly related to the error you got (irrelevant data will really just end up being clutter for us to wade through), but unfortunately, we can’t 100% guarantee there won’t be any personal data among this stuff.
By personal data, we mean things like “the calendar’s name is My Work Calendar” or “this calendar is connected through a Google account” or “this event’s description is Meeting at 4pm”; things that you’ve directly and knowingly entered into Shine. We’re not trying to grab your email address or uploading random files from your hard drive or anything of the sort (as interested as we may be in that secret stash of yours… you know the one *wink, wink*); we’re looking to get data from Shine itself about Shine to help Shine.
Error data will be recorded and uploaded every time you come across an error. Future versions of Shine will be more transparent about when we’re collecting error data, and offering options to just send error data “this one time”.
Changing these options
Shine is, has been, and always will be focused on providing you the choices to make it the experience you want it to be – and that includes selecting what data you’d like for us to collect or not collect.
As much as we may like for you to have these options turned on to help get more accurate statistics and help fix errors, your privacy and your choices are important. Thus, there will be options to change data collection, including turning it off altogether. We’ll provide you these options while you’re first setting up Shine on your computer, and we’ll also provide you access to these options after the fact as well.
Changing these options will not affect your experience of Shine itself, just affects what you’ll allow us to utilize when it comes to working on Shine. You’ll never get a different experience or have a feature turned off just because you wanted to turn off data collection. That’s not how we roll.
Shine allows you to modify and enhance your experience of the program with extensions. Extensions can do things like add buttons to the toolbar, notice when you added a new calendar, or modify your events for you. While these things can allow extensions to do some really helpful and useful things, it can also do evil things if in the wrong hands. With great power, comes great responsibility!
Shine provides you a way to disable or remove extensions that cause problems, and this can even be done while Shine isn’t running.
If we hear word about a nasty extension that causes problems, we may even make the decision to disable it for everyone. This is only done in the most drastic of measures – if there’s real, legitimate concern about an extension disrupting people’s privacy or safety. Generally, we’d prefer to just reach out to the extension maker and communicate with them about addressing these issues instead… but sometimes you just gotta bring out the nukes. You can prevent us from disabling extensions for you, but note that you’re really, truly putting yourself at risk that way.
Final things to note
Shine will only store the data it collects as long as its useful to us: usage data will only be recorded and preserved for a month at most, although reports based upon such usage data may last forever. Error data will only be kept around as long as we’re still focused on fixing that error. Once it’s fixed, we don’t really have a need for all the error reports, and they’ll be promptly discarded.
While connecting to the Internet to check for updates, Shine checks updates against what you have currently installed and against what OS you have. However, this is all done right on your computer, not online, so don’t worry about anything being uploaded while checking for updates.