We believe in the importance of privacy — especially in your own home.
We don’t know about you, but we’re not too comfortable with the trend of having always on microphones in our homes. Your home is your castle and it should be treated as such.
With Thing • Connect we have built a way to get all the benefits of a smart home without leaking your sensitive and private information to large corporations that may sell your data or just listen in on your private conversations. We really want as little data about you as possible. We also suggest you use an email account that you do not usually use for other services — or even create a new one, such as a custom GMail account. Further, if you have the possibility, use a temporary/disposable or virtual credit card that allows subscriptions. That way you have complete control of your personal data.
Local is good
We made a deliberate decision to make sure all your connections to your devices are local, as in they only communicate with Thing • Connect in your private LAN. We look for devices in intervals over SSDP and Bonjour and issue commands to the devices over your private network. Certain devices can’t always be automatically discovered so you may have to add them manually, e.g. an Osram Lightify bridge.
This also means that some features that you use to control your devices over the internet will not work as you might be used to. We feel it’s a tradeoff we needed to do.
When you create an agent or issue a command, that will be transmitted securely to our services over an SSL connection, of course.
Let’s talk about it
We use Google Speech for interpreting your speech into text in realtime. The reason is that their service is far and beyond the most accurate and fastest out there. If you prefer to keep an even lower profile, you can disable the speech functionality altogether in settings — you can always type your commands.
We are working on a solution to make speech interpretation local as well and we’ll be sure let you know when that’s ready. It most likely will not be as accurate as Google Speech, but for most use cases it will be more than enough.
Stuff we log
When an agent is completed, we store that agent for a maximum of 30 days and then it will be pruned. We store the agents to improve our parsing of your commands. We don’t store any personal information, only the command itself.
We do check your IP address, but it is logged only in case of rate limiting and blocking abuse.
The unique ID of your computer will be stored when you login. This is only used to make sure you don’t login to multiple devices at the same time.
We use Google Analytics to measure how Thing • Connect is used. Your IP is anonymised by removing the last octet of your IP address. We assign a unique ID per user so we can measure usage.
Note, this is completely optional and you will be asked the first time you start Thing • Connect if you are OK with this. You can always enable or disable Analytics in the Thing • Connect settings.
All payments go through Stripe. We do not collect or store any card information, period. And we really don’t want to either.