New Update 1Password adds Telemetry to its password manager, but it is opt-in, sort of

silversurfer

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The makers of the password management service 1Password announced the rollout of what they call a "privacy-preserving telemetry system" in the application today.

Telemetry collects usage data and many applications and all operating systems have such systems in place. Developers may use it to analyze issues or usage, which may help prioritize development.

Telemetry is a red flag for some users, especially those with a tech background or expertise. One of the reasons for that is that it is often baked into programs and operating systems automatically. In other words: data is collected automatically and users have to hunt for opt-out options, if they even exist. Sometimes, these options may even get reset, for instance after upgrades.
1password-telemetry.png
1Password promises that its system is privacy preserving. To ensure that, it designed the system to be opt-in instead of opt-out. Users will receive a prompt about data collecting and it is up to them to agree to it or decline the request.

The prompt does not use dark patterns, but the share option appears to be enabled by default. Users need to toggle the "share analytics" toggle when they see the prompt to block 1Password from collecting and sending usage data to the company. Users may change the usage data preference at any time under manage account.

The setting applies to all 1Password instances on all of the user's devices.

1Password users who have not seen the prompt yet in the application do not have data collected in their applications yet.

Telemetry in 1Password is designed to collected event data. User data, such as passwords, passkeys, usernames or URLs are never collected and remain private.

1Password lists a few examples of event data that it collects:
  • finishing the in-app boarding
  • unlocking 1Password
  • creating a new item
  • filling an item in a website or app
The data will be "de-identified and processed in aggregate" before it is used for analysis according to the company. 1Password admits that it will also collect a "small amount of metadata", such as the type of device that was used to complete an action.

The company explains that it needs the data to "build an even better 1Password".

The Telemetry system will roll out to customers in the coming months. The company won't roll out Telemetry to team or business accounts "at this time".
 

mlnevese

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Telemetry is a great way for a developer to see how software is used and what needs improvement. It has been demonized lately because some companies abused it but telemetry itself is actually useful when done right.
 

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