What is Application Telemetry?
Our applications record data about how they are used and how they perform. This data is then (with your explicit consent) transmitted to photools.com for analysis.
Why Should I Care?
If you allow telemetry in our applications, you actively help us to make our products better. For you, and for all other users.
Is this Secure and Anonymous?
Absolutely. We don’t collect or transmit telemetry data that can be used to identify you personally.
The telemetry data is completely anonymous and not linked to your customer or community accounts. The data is securely transferred to photools.com using SSL (HTTPS) and is only accessed by the photools.com developers. We don’t distribute or sell the data and we delete it once we have created the statistics we need.
Can I Opt Out?
Of course. Our products ask you for permission before collecting telemetry data for the first time. And you can disable telemetry at any time.
Why Do You Need This?
Sadly. we don’t know much about how users actually work with IMatch or our other products.
We learn a lot from the active users in the community. But the majority of the IMatch user base is “silent” and does not participate in the community.
We would like to know which features are used most often and which are not used at all. How many files users manage on the average. Which IMatch apps are used. The typical screen resolutions or the available memory.
Even basic data like this will teach us a lot about how users work with our products. And what we have to do to improve them in future versions. The products, not the users ;-).
What Kind of Data is Collected?
In the case of IMatch, we collect data like:
- How many folders, files and categories does the user manage in the database?
- How large is the database on disk and how long does it take to load?
- General computer information like: number of processor cores, RAM, Windows version, screen resolution, number of monitors, …
- Which panels are used?
- Which IMatch features/commands are used and how often?
- Which functions in IMatch perform poorly?
- How much memory does IMatch use, which features use the most resources?
- How often does IMatch encounter and handle errors?
The data is collected while IMatch runs and automatically transmitted via the Internet when you close IMatch.
On the photools.com server the data is then combined with the data of all other participating users to create useful statistics.
For the purpose of telemetry, the user identity is irrelevant. We don’t need to know (and don’t want to) if the telemetry data comes from Hanna in Berlin or from José in Madrid.
Telemetry identifies an IMatch instance (not a user or computer) via a unique random number that is generated during installation. This number is not related to your user account. It cannot be used to identify you personally. But it allows us to combine data from the same IMatch instance over multiple sessions/days. This way we can learn that a user does not use the Map Panel but she/he uses Metadata Templates very often.
In case a user works with multiple databases, telemetry uses the first 8 digits of the 36-digit database id (created during creation of the database) to separate data for each database. Again, this id is random and does not identify a specific user.
In case IMatch is used by multiple users, telemetry uses a hash (number) calculated from the user name and a seed value. These hashes looks like this: ‘bd9a7fc7483c2…’
Hashes don’t allow us to recover the actual user name, but to keep data for each user separate. Different users may use IMatch in different ways and without per-user data separation our statistics would be wrong.
How Do We Use This Data?
We produce statistical data about the user base from it. For example:
- “The average database size is 100,000 files”
- “Metadata Templates are used by 15% of the user base”
- “30% of the user base works with versions”
- “Reverse geocoding is used by 27% of the user base”
- “0% of the user base used the News App in the past 3 months”.
Hard facts like this allows us to steer the future development of our products. We can make slow things faster, remove unnecessary features and improve frequently used features.