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Re: Telemetry, opt-in,opt-out [was: Proposal: new default bindings for w

From: Ihor Radchenko
Subject: Re: Telemetry, opt-in,opt-out [was: Proposal: new default bindings for winner and windmove]
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2024 05:28:04 +0000

Stefan Monnier <monnier@iro.umontreal.ca> writes:

>>> Opt-out collection of anonymous metrics has been an industry standard
>>> for many years now.
>> Whatever "industry standard" means. Industry standard is
>> surveillance capitalism these days. Not something to strive
>> for, not in free software's context, I think.
> Yup, I'd be happy to see some kind of statistics-gathering system
> included in Emacs if it can help us decide how to evolve the projects
> and its default settings, but it definitely needs to be opt-in: Emacs
> should never contact a host without the user "explicitly" requesting it
> (there's some wiggle room about what "explicitly" can mean, admittedly,
> but in terms of sending telemetry it's pretty clear to me that it needs
> to be opt-in).

Note that I have done an opt-in statistics gathering in

Here are some privacy-related things that have been considered:

1. opt-in only, and implemented as global minor mode, so that people can
   disable statistics gathering any time, and re-enable later

2. Data is in plain text format for easier review

3. Data is not sent automatically. Only user decides when to send it
   (several users asked for a reminder about sending though)
   A note: I did this via mailing list, so it was not exactly anonymous,
   but submissions may be made anonymous as well, with appropriate
   upload server like 0x0 or similar (but hosted by FSF).

4. What is recorded is documented. And can be customized.

5. Data recorded during current Emacs session can be discarded any time,
   with a command.

I had no major complaints about privacy, except one instance of Emacs
user whose employer had strict data sharing policy. Of course, that user
did not have to opt in.

(note that the package itself is rather data-agnostic and can be re-used
to collect something else, not just GC statistics)

Ihor Radchenko // yantar92,
Org mode contributor,
Learn more about Org mode at <https://orgmode.org/>.
Support Org development at <https://liberapay.com/org-mode>,
or support my work at <https://liberapay.com/yantar92>

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