Fruit Tree Labs is not a data company, and we are not inherently interested in collecting your information. We don't want to know anything about you, and we are certainly not in the business of selling data. That being said, there are some cases in which data collection is occurring that needs to be discussed here.
In which way does Fruit Tree Labs collect data?
The only case in which Fruit Tree Labs collects any type of data is:
- Fruit Tree Labs keeps track of how many people visit their websites (including this site, fruittreelabs.com and the Dialogue Branch website dialoguebranch.com).
Fruit Tree Labs Website Visitor Tracking
We would like to know how many people visit our websites, how they found us, which pages are of most interest, and which device they use to access our sites. We use this information to make informed decisions on how to make our websites better, and how to better reach out to potentially interested people - but most importantly we just like to see if people are interested in what we do.
For collecting this information we use the open-source platform Matomo, which is a web analytics platform that focuses on data protection and privacy. Furthermore, we have configured the platform in such a way that:
- We do not place any cookies - meaning we are not able to track visitors between different visits (or between visits to any of our websites). Subsequently, we do not ask for permission to place cookies, because, well... we don't place any.
- All data that we collect is stored in Europe (in a datacenter in the Netherlands to be exact), and doesn't leave the EU.
- When a vistor reaches on of our websites, the visitor's device makes a connection to our server and is identified by a unique "IP Address". We anonymize the last part of this IP Address (so it cannot be traced back to the visitor), and use this anonymized IP address for geolocating the visit (giving us a rough idea of where our visitors are from).
- When a visitor reaches one of our websites by clicking on a link on another website (a referrer), our tracking platforms can record this information. In our case, we do not record the referrer URL, so we don't know exactly how the visitor reached our site. We do track the "type" of referrer (so whether the visitor found us through a search engine, a social network, or by simply entering the URL of our website directly).
As an example, here is what an entry in our visitor log might look like:
- Date & Time: Wednesday, January 18, 2023 - 15:24:18
- IP Address: 192.168.1.?
- Location: Lisbon, Portugal
- Referrer: Direct Entry
- Browser: Firefox 108.0
- Operating System: Mac 10.15
- Device Type: Desktop
- Resolution: 1680x1050
If, for any reason, you do not want this information to be logged, you may opt-out completely by using the form below:
Is there anything else to say about data collection?
Yes. Fruit Tree Labs manages the open source DialogueBranch Platform. This platform may be used, or be modified and then used by anyone, in accordance with its permissive MIT License. This means that we do not have any control over such third-parties and how they might use DialogueBranch to collect personal data. However, in the interest of transparency, we want to explain how the DialogueBranch Platform may be used to collect personal data.
The set of tools that make up the DialogueBranch Platform can broadly be defined as (a) the Language definition, (b) a Java Library that can be used to read and execute .dlb scripts, (c) an Editor that may be used to author .dlb scripts, and (d) a Web Service that can be run online that provides APIs to client applications that want to display dialogues powered by DialogueBranch. Without going into too much detail, personal data collection is only relevant in the context of (d) the DialogueBranch Web Service.
As part of its core functionality, the DialogueBranch Web Service stores the history of interactions that users engage in. Every time a user starts a dialogue, or progresses the dialogue by selecting a reply to a statement from an agent, this information is logged. The logging is necessary in order for the Web Service to know which is the next step in the dialogue that it needs to return. Depending on the dialogues that are being served, this logging may either be completely harmless, or may contain sensitive information.
For example, if the dialogue served is part of a Game, the information contained within the logs would not contain anything that can be considered personal information. However, if dialogues are served on a personal topic (e.g. a personal mental health coach), the journey that a user takes through the dialogue, and any information the user may provide through e.g. text inputs, could be considered very personal, and perhaps even medical data.
When deploying a DialogueBranch Web Service for your own application, always be mindful that this logging is taking place. Take appropriate measures to protect the data, and inform your users about the fact that data is being stored.