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CM Statistics - CM Wants your data, and CM WILL GET YOUR DATA, LIKE IT OR NOT!

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By Jamesyboy, Senior Member on 2nd April 2013, 08:47 AM
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In the past, CM has allowed users to opt out of sending their data. It's recently decided to remove the "optout feature" (c'mon, is that really a "feature"), forcing users to eat it.


http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/04...says-to-chill/

"Cyanogenmod Will No Longer Allow Opting Out of CM Stats-- Cyanogen Says to Chill"

in response, i kindly made this argument:

"A fundamental issue still exists. If the data is collected via a unique identifier, and it has a timestamp, then it isn't as anonymized as people think. Anyone with a basic understanding of data security knows that. I think the uproar has to do with the reputation of the team as the protectors and defenders of our platform...you give us choice. But when we see behavior that doesn't add up, were naturally going to believe you've used that position in the community to do evil. We understand you want the the data.

What doesn't make sense, and the natural road for us all to go down:

1) is this being used to monetize CM?

2) installation data: to include location, language, device, build version, and carrier, are all things that can be identified using a single, static event report. Why should we be comfortable with an always-collecting, transmitting-in-the-background service? What's the use-case for this? You've said yourself that Google Play apps themselves often collect this data..why is that method insufficient for CM? And why should we have to expect the same from you guys as we do from everyone else. Surely there's a way to collect the necessary data you need with a scalpel, negating the need for a device drag-net like this.




In all seriousness, i trust CM to do the right thing...i just can't tell right now if they've done the lazy thing, and created a service which is omnipresent, omnipotent, running in the background and silently spying on me, just so CM can tell which language my device is running, my general location, my build information, etc.

That's fine, it's simple data, and it's fairly straight forward.

The question is, if you needed that data (which CM says it does), then why are you collecting a much, much more complicated data set, and why won't a simple installation report do? Why won't running for a short period of time...say, 5-7 days do?

Why did they take the Carrier IQ route?

Maybe they want it just so they can have it. As Koushik stated on the google plus post (where he does a great job at assuaging some fears, and creating others):

"---Did you know over half of our users are in China? They just passed the US in terms of CM installation base.

Call it ego surfing, but the data is incredibly useful."



So they're collecting all this data, without a need? It's obvious why it's extremely useful to understand, say....which language most of your users use, etc. But you don't need a 24/7 service to find out what language people use your device in.


Anyways, here's the Google + Post:

https://plus.google.com/103583939320...ts/GwnzKJijBKj


Here, he has, however, provided a screenshot of your data in action, assuaging the fears of most (we never truly get to see what our data looks like after its sent through the mizteereeus pipez of the interwebz, magically transformed, and then spit back out to an analyst), and he even tells you a bit about what data it collects. What he doesn't say, is why on earth submitting the data once, after installation, in a single report wont do, or why a build report once a week, or however often, wont do.


That's the end of my tinfoil hat tirade. Like i said, i love CM, i trust them, but i'm disappointed. The reasons i listed above are arguments made to explain why people are raising hell because of this. I don't believe they'll do anything nefarious, and personally, they can ego=surf with my data all they want. It IS pretty cool. Maybe the move was a tad bit short-sighted though, because they may have gotten a bit out of touch with their users, and their users opinion of them-- and that's what my posts were supposed to do...they were supposed to bring the way I (and other's) think about them more in line with reality.


Edit: It's important to note that, as explained to us by CM, CM Statistics calls home upon reboot. Whether it runs all the time, or just for a nanosecond upon reboot, or 24/7 is important as well, but I'm unable to verify any of this, because my github skills are w34ks4uce. If we had a independent dev who could take a look at CM Stats and then explain exactly (key word) what it was collecting, that'd be über helpful....but it wouldn't mean anything in the long run. Because I was viewing the macroscopic effects of the decision. A comprehensive announcement and explanation wold probably have been prescient, because the information contained in the Google+ post is just as key as the announcement itself-- the stigma of collecting data is far to strong to just say one day-- "sneaky, sneaky--no more opting out".
2nd April 2013, 01:27 PM |#2  
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Nothing has changed here, only the fact that it's enabled by default vs opt-out. The dataset hasn't changed.

Don't use it if you don't like it. They are not spying on you. WITHOUT stats they would have zero visibility to what is actually used. Download data is trash compared to actual usage.

And what if they decide they want to improve Language X translations, but only 10 people use it? Worth it? Or what about Device Y that only a handful of people are still clinging onto? Resources can be used in better ways.

I knew I'd see a post crying about this eventually...
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2nd April 2013, 05:41 PM |#3  
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If this thread turns into a flame fest it will be locked
As for data collection...you are using Android right?
Also check the permissions to all those third party apps.

Thanks in advance for keeping this thread civil or ignoring it.
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2nd April 2013, 05:50 PM |#4  
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Re: CM Statistics - CM Wants your data, and CM WILL GET YOUR DATA, LIKE IT OR NOT!
I take my privacy seriously, as I'm sure most of us do. As mentioned previously market apps gain a certain amount of info from us.

Maybe CM should have a free version with no opt out or a pay version with one (key maybe). That should make everyone happy.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I717 using xda premium
btswein
2nd April 2013, 11:33 PM |#5  
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Re: CM Statistics - CM Wants your data, and CM WILL GET YOUR DATA, LIKE IT OR NOT!
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaytsus

Nothing has changed here, only the fact that it's enabled by default vs opt-out. The dataset hasn't changed.

Don't use it if you don't like it. They are not spying on you. WITHOUT stats they would have zero visibility to what is actually used. Download data is trash compared to actual usage.

And what if they decide they want to improve Language X translations, but only 10 people use it? Worth it? Or what about Device Y that only a handful of people are still clinging onto? Resources can be used in better ways.

I knew I'd see a post crying about this eventually...

This.
3rd April 2013, 02:10 AM |#6  
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Re: CM Statistics - CM Wants your data, and CM WILL GET YOUR DATA, LIKE IT OR NOT!
Whoooooooo caaaares delete thread

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3rd April 2013, 05:42 AM |#7  
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Re: CM Statistics - CM Wants your data, and CM WILL GET YOUR DATA, LIKE IT OR NOT!
Solution to all this: OpenPDroid
3rd April 2013, 01:18 PM |#8  
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Re: CM Statistics - CM Wants your data, and CM WILL GET YOUR DATA, LIKE IT OR NOT!
Quote:
Originally Posted by briand.mooreg

I take my privacy seriously, as I'm sure most of us do. As mentioned previously market apps gain a certain amount of info from us.

Maybe CM should have a free version with no opt out or a pay version with one (key maybe). That should make everyone happy.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I717 using xda premium

I think this is a brilliant idea, regardless of the status of CM Stats. A paid version with a extra feature set would be awesome.

As far as the argument for data like language, region, build, etc. I think we can say conclusively that this could be handled by a installation report, that runs once after installation or upgrade.

The type of data they need doesn't neccesitate a background service, which is why its naturally suspicious.

Sent from my Transformer using XDA Premium HD app
3rd April 2013, 01:19 PM |#9  
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Re: CM Statistics - CM Wants your data, and CM WILL GET YOUR DATA, LIKE IT OR NOT!
Quote:
Originally Posted by btswein

This.

I though is was enabled by default. Is this something the devs choose? Upon installation, i see a "cm statistics is running" banner in notification. Even so, what's changing, is their removing opt out all together.

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4th April 2013, 09:10 PM |#11  
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well there you have it:

Commit MessagePermalink
Restore the opt-out for stats.

* Apparently this is a bigger issue for a small number of extremely
vocal users. We should respect their wishes, no matter how off-base
their claims are in this context.
Change-Id: I9eef9a65260ec4e360d398f80d610a198c09c915

Thanks to: khaytsus
for posting the link
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