Product Usage Tracking
We are re-thinking our plan around adding product usage tracking to GitLab. See this blog post (https://about.gitlab.com/blog/2019/10/10/update-free-software-and-telemetry/) for context. Feedback welcome.
2019-11-12 UPDATE: We are conducting customer interviews about telemetry on GitLab.com. Please see the post below for more information.
2019-11-08 UPDATE: We decided to limit scope to .com only. There will be no changes for customers using self-hosted instances of GitLab. And any telemetry changes we make for .com will be GDPR compliant, and we'll submit a proposal in advance to customers for feedback.
2019-11-06 UPDATE: Thank you all for your feedback on this topic. We have a number of things in progress to inform our next steps here. First, the Product Management team is reading and reviewing your feedback in this issue. Second, we held two internal retrospectives to get feedback from around the company. And third, we are conducting a series of customer interviews. We expect it to take at least two more weeks to complete the interviews, at which point we'll put together a proposal for review and comment by the community. In the meantime, we will provide regular updates here to keep you posted on progress.
2019-10-29 UPDATE: The following email is going out to all GitLab users:
Dear GitLab users and customers,
On October 23, we sent an email entitled “Important Updates to our Terms of Service and Telemetry Services” announcing upcoming changes. Based on considerable feedback from our customers, users, and the broader community, we reversed course the next day and removed those changes before they went into effect. Further, GitLab will commit to not implementing telemetry in our products that sends usage data to a third-party product analytics service. This clearly struck a nerve with our community and I apologize for this mistake.
So, what happened? In an effort to improve our user experience, we decided to implement user behavior tracking with both first and third-party technology. Clearly, our evaluation and communication processes for rolling out a change like this were lacking and we need to improve those processes. But that’s not the main thing we did wrong.
Our main mistake was that we did not live up to our own core value of collaboration by including our users, contributors, and customers in the strategy discussion and, for that, I am truly sorry. It shouldn’t have surprised us that you have strong feelings about opt-in/opt-out decisions, first versus third-party tracking, data protection, security, deployment flexibility and many other topics, and we should have listened first.
So, where do we go from here? The first step is a retrospective that is happening on October 29 to document what went wrong. We are reaching out to customers who expressed concerns and collecting feedback from users and the wider community. We will put together a new proposal for improving the user experience and share it for feedback. We made a mistake by not collaborating, so now we will take as much time as needed to make sure we get this right. You can be part of the collaboration by posting comments in this issue. If you are a customer, you may also reach out to your GitLab representative if you have additional feedback.
I am glad you hold GitLab to a higher standard. If we are going to be transparent and collaborative, we need to do it consistently and learn from our mistakes.
Co-Founder and CEO