Wyze app data collection

I recently noticed that the Wyze app communicates with two third-party “customer engagement” companies. Specifically, Braze and Segment are contacted multiple times when the app is launched and even when it’s not open. Both these companies collect some form of user and engagement data.

I noticed these requests in my tracker blocking firewall (Disconnect Pro):

I would really like to know exactly what data and/or telemetry Wyze is collecting via these two third-party platforms. I know it’s usually standard practice to collect some data and monitor app usage… But this was introduced silently without notifying customers about what information is collected, why it’s collected, or what it’s used for.

I’d really appreciate it if one of the Wyze team could shed some light on this.

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:cricket: :cricket:  ?

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Have you blocked those? If yes, does the App still work? If no, seems worth it to block those.

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They are blocked. I know what these trackers do, they mostly collect user engagement data. They are therefore not critical to app function, however, they still collect data about the usage and user. Other apps (like TP-Link Kasa) offer the ability to opt-out of this type of tracking.

I’d like to know what specific data Wyze is collecting, why they are collecting it, and how they are using it. As users we should be privy to this information and we should also have the option to opt-out.

Perhaps I should tag my go-to superhero @WyzeGwendolyn to find the Wyze team member best able to answer the above… :blush:

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We may have reached "this far and no farther" on the transparency front, D.  A girl’s * gotta have some secrets, doncha know…

 * This is a personification of Wyze in general, not any particular staff member, living or dead.

You’d have my vote if this thread were so enabled. There should be no privacy surprises for products specifically designed to monitor the inside of our homes.

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The :cricket: :cricket: continues…

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Silence makes the heart grow fonder.

In some cases. trump_35

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(Daniel, PM me when you get a chance, would like to extend invite :slight_smile: )

Sorry for my delay! I’ll chase down someone with these details. I don’t have the information readily available since I’m not part of that team. :slight_smile:

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Hey All, @WyzeGwendolyn hunted me down and diligently made sure I got back to all of you here. I am not saying that to downplay the importance of responding here or of downplaying the importance of letting you know what information we collect. I only added that to let you know that Gwen is awesome. :slight_smile:

Ok, to the question posed by @Daniel_SA. We are working on implementing both Segment and Braze. They are still not fully implemented, but we do have their basic SDKs inside of our apps starting with release 2.10 and 2.11. So, what do these collect? Let me start by giving a little context on each of these tools.

Segment
Segment is a customer data platform (CDP) and is intended to be a single place where we can unify the data that we collect. One of the reasons we chose to use a platform to unify the data that we collect is because it helps manage data privacy. It can control what platforms get what data and easily let us report the data that we collect to our customers as well as quickly remove data from ALL sources.

Braze
Braze is a customer engagement tool. We chose Braze because it allows us to send all messages from a single platform (email, push messages, in-app messages, etc.) rather than have data spread across multiple tools (like most companies). The data that goes into Braze is managed by Segment. Again, Segment allows us to control what data gets sent in as well as allowing us to quickly pull what we have collected and delete data upon customer request (delete ALL data across multiple sources).

What data do Braze and Segment collect?
Segment and Braze collect usage data from the apps. Currently, they track which screens a Wyze user visits and select actions a user takes within the Wyze app. An example of a select action would be “Turns on Auto-unlock in the Wyze app.” These were all things that we were already tracking and able to see. In addition to app usage tracking, Braze is able to see how a customer engages with any messages that are sent. We are able to see what messages a user received, open rates on messages, if a user closed a message, or if the users chose to visit an additional page after viewing the message, etc.

All message engagement data is tracked by pretty much every platform that sends messages. Our prior email service provider before Braze would do the same.

It is important for us to have this in a single platform because 1) it is actually safer than having duplicate data spread across multiple sources, and 2) it allows us to do things such as set frequency caps on how often a user gets messages and only send messages to those that need them (i.e., don’t send messages about Wyze Sense outages to users that don’t have Wyze Sense products).

These apps DO NOT store or even have access to credit card or password information. We do not intend them to ever do that. We do send in customer email addresses, first and last names (for those that have ordered with Wyze.com), order IDs and shipment tracking numbers. At this time we do not send in phone numbers or addresses.

This data collection and usage is covered in our privacy statement here:
https://wyze.com/privacy-statement

I get it that statements such as these are often overlooked. We tried to make our privacy statement user friendly and readable. The sections that best apply to apps such as Segment and Braze are the “COLLECTION OF INFORMATION,” USE OF INFORMATION," and “SHARING OF INFORMATION” sections.

I hope this helps answer your questions. I am open to feedback on how to communicate this to our users? Should we highlight it in our next privacy statement update? Should we post here in the forum? Should we announce it over social? Thoughts?

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How about “your actions are your own and we don’t track them; enjoy our appliances and software without hesitation” ?

The value to the customer of reminding them to buy more stuff is approximately zero.

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First of all, thank you @WyzeGwendolyn and @WyzeLogan for taking the time to respond, I know you guys a really busy. Also, special thanks to Gwen for being super awesome again and finding Logan! :grin:

Thanks @WyzeLogan for such a detailed description of exactly what data is being collected and why it’s being collected.

As you know, data privacy is a thorny issue these days and it’s mostly down to people feeling they don’t know what is being collected, why it’s collected, and how it’s used. This is worsened by an inability to opt-out of data collection if they feel uncomfortable. Having the explanation about in-app data collection hidden in die privacy policy is not very effective (most people will never notice it and remain unaware of it).

I would suggest you continue with the implementation of said data collection instruments in the app as this type of data is valuable to understand your customers. However, please give users a choice.

What I’m suggesting:

The screenshot above is from the TP-Link Kasa app. Under settings they have a section called “Privacy” where the user can opt-out of data collection. I would recommend Wyze include a similar option in future app releases. The data collection options can default to “on” as is the case with Kasa, however, the user should be given the option to turn it off should they wish. It’s important that users make an informed choice, so I would also recommend an explanation about the in-app data collection be included in this “Privacy” section. The feeble attempt TP-Link made under “Anonymous analytics” in the screenshot is not quite adequate. Perhaps you can include such a summary with a “read more” link to the specific section in the privacy policy covering it in more detail like you did in the above post.

To summarise:

This means that data collection defaults to “on” for all users but they have the ability in the app settings to manually turn it off if they feel uncomfortable with it. This app setting should include a explanation of the data collection so users can make an informed choice.

I hope this helps. Thanks again!

PS: Thank you for placing so much emphasis on selecting the best platform to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the data you collect. It really bodes well for Wyze that so much emphasis is placed on safety of the data and the management thereof. Well done.

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Thanks @Daniel_SA for the awesome feedback. I believe our privacy and security team has something like this planned. I will make sure to pass this on to them right now. Feel free to occasionally ping us here to follow up on our progress. I can proudly say that our first application of Braze was to set up anomaly detection notifications to alert users if anything suspicious happens with their account. I believe that is actively being tested right now.

For now, I love the idea of being able to keep yourself anonymous in the app and will make sure this gets passed on.

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@Daniel_SA

Check this out too:

Segment has the ability to suppress all data collected by users when they opt in. We can actually implement this immediately from the standpoint of a user manually requesting via a support ticket and then work to integrate it into a toggle as suggested.

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This is really cool! It adds peace of mind from a security standpoint.

Yes, that’s exactly what I had in mind. Adding a toggle will make users feel like they are in control and that they have a choice, which should help build user trust and confidence.

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@WyzeLogan, please keep doing this with the energy I feel in your posts here. It will make a huge difference. shaka_25_crop

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Do we know will the Toggle be implemented in next version App release?

When can a user start to submit ticket requesting opt out Segment?