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Private Eyes Are Watching You!

Well, some of you may have noticed that there is a text field on the front page over at Zimmersion which allows you to leave your email address so that the we can let you know when the the first version if released into the wild. Something else that that is not so obvious is that we have also started using the services of StatCounter, a service similar to Google Analytics that allows us to passively record information about visitor to our both and Zimmersion. Some of the interesting things you can learn about your visitors are by using this great tool are:

  • Number of new visitors
  • Number of repeat visitors
  • How long each user stayed at your site
  • which browsers your users are using
  • Which sites referred a visitor to your page
  • Which countries/cities your visitors are coming from
Visitor Motion Tracker: they're right on top of us!

Site Visitor Motion Tracker: they're right on top of us!

This sort of information is really handy when trying to work out the where to concentrate effort in product development and marketing. For instance, if we find that out there is a lot of visitors from Brazil visiting Zimmersion, then we’ll prioritise our localisation efforts on providing Portuguese resources.

These two developments (the email submission form and tracking agent) both involve recording information about our customers / visitors, and that means that ZiZee has needed to develop a privacy policy. At the moment our privacy policy has been kept deliberately simple, friendly,and relaxed plain English. We did this as we find a lot of privacy policies pretty average, full of legalese and if it is that off putting to us, imagine what our customers would think. Also, as we are only recording minimal personally identifiable information (an email address) it seems anything more would be overkill at this stage. The key thing we are stressing in our first attempt at a privacy policy is this: your email address will not be shared with anyone outside of ZiZee, never, ever.

Now, I’m sure one day our policy is going to have to “grow up” as as we move forward, for instance things like becoming a member of the Safe Harbor program may be of merit and we will look at providing more information about the different types of information collected, but the key thing to take away from our policy (and future revisions) is that our customers privacy is important to us and we think that even though we are denying ourselves some short term gains, in the long term it makes so much more sense to cherish our customers privacy than to make a quick buck by sharing it with others. We will also always make our privacy policies short, easily understandable and customer focused. we promise that we’ll never share account information (email addresses, name, contacts etc) with people / organisations outside of ZiZee. And if our policy does need to change in the future any information collected under the this current privacy policy will stay covered by that privacy policy until a user either agrees to the updated privacy policy, or decides to delete their sensitive information.

That reminds me, I need to put a date on the privacy policy to ensure people (both at ZiZee and our customers) can know which privacy policy they are covered by. I’ll also look into sending an automated confirmation email when people give us their email, with the email containing the entire privacy agreement.

Anyway, I’d welcome comments regarding our privacy policy, both things that you like and areas where we can improve it.


Jimmy McGrath.

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One Comment

  1. [...] up and submit it to google, yahoo and others. As I mentioned in another post – “Private Eyes Are Watching You!” – I have also put up a mailing list subscription for those wanting to hear about the [...]