Terms of Service & Telemetry Update
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
2019-10-24 UPDATE: We've heard your concerns and questions and have rolled back any changes to our Terms of Service. We’re going to process the feedback and rethink our approach. We will not activate user level product usage tracking on GitLab.com or GitLab self-managed before we address the feedback and re-evaluate our plan. We will make sure to communicate our proposed changes prior to any changes to GitLab.com or self-managed instances, and give sufficient time for people to provide feedback for a new proposal. We'll work in this issue.
Update 10/25: We have opened this issue for further discussion on this topic. Please direct your feedback there: gitlab-com/www-gitlab-com#5672 (closed)
Update 10/24/19: We've heard your concerns and questions and have rolled back any changes to our Terms of Service. We’re going to process the feedback and rethink our approach. We will not activate user level product usage tracking on GitLab.com or GitLab self-managed before we address the feedback and re-evaluate our plan. We will make sure to communicate our proposed changes prior to any changes to GitLab.com or self-managed instances, and give sufficient time for people to provide feedback for a new proposal. We'll work in this issue.
Here's an MR updating our blog post accordingly: gitlab-com/www-gitlab-com!33289 (diffs, comment 235139590)
Terms of Service Update
Periodically GitLab updates Terms of Service and communicates these updates to our product users. Here is a link to our Terms of Service.
Why are we implementing telemetry?
The reason we are using telemetry is for our Product Managers to analyze usage data to make GitLab a better product. Most SaaS products that are used today use telemetry for this reason, and it benefits users by enabling a better product experience.
Telemetry Specific Changes
|Community Edition (CE)||No changes to CE. Telemetry will not be added.|
|Enterprise Edition (EE)||No current changes. We are not adding telemetry services to EE at this time.|
Important for GitLab Enterprise Edition (Self-managed) Customers:
We are not adding Pendo or Snowplow JS snippets to self-hosted versions at this time. We are carefully considering the appropriate opt-out functionality for telemetry that will work best for our customers, and we will clearly communicate to those customers when any change is made.
What to do if I don't want to share my product usage data with a 3rd party service?
In order to service the needs of GitLab.com users who do not want to be tracked, GitLab.com will honor the Do Not Track (DNT) mechanism in web browsers.
For GitLab CE:
GitLab CE will continue to be free software with no changes. If you want to install your own instance of GitLab without proprietary software, GitLab CE remains available, as it is licensed under the MIT License. Many open-source software projects use GitLab CE for their SCM and CI needs, and nothing is changing with CE.
Link to GitLab CE - https://about.gitlab.com/install/?version=ce
Note to the community and contributors: Thank you for your continued passion on this important topic and assistance in making GitLab a better product for our community. Please follow our progress on our commitment to user privacy here.