Posted: Tuesday July 19 2016 @ 6:10am
Religious Order: Toys
Well, unfortunately, the Tiko 3D printer Kickstarter is looking more and more like a clusterfuck. They shipped (with a reasonable delay) the first 100 printers. Those printers are, well, just not working great. Then, they dropped this little policy bombshell: They're collecting usage data from the printers and there's no way to opt out. Here's the relevant text:
In terms of the data we collect, it's practically everything. Everything from how long it takes you to progress from one step in the printing process to another, slicing times, printing times, print sizes/volume, scaling/re-orientation, how often you load/unload filament, what time of day prints are started, what brightness you change the LED to, etc. Just tons and tons of raw, completely anonymous data. We use this data for everything from improving workflow (ie where do people get stuck), to improving auto-level, optimizing the slicing engine algorithms by looking at what takes longest, and even something as seemingly mundane as the average favorite LED brightness. Every single piece of information can tell us more about how well Tiko performs and how good of an experience it is, and so we collect it all. Again, completely anonymously. Also, full disclosure, Tiko stores all of this in offline mode, and will sync it with our servers upon connection to the internet. So even if you only connect to WiFi once in a while, we'll still get the data. We hope that doesn't come across as big-brothery, we're just out to make the best product and experience ever.
Don't like? They'll refund your money, then. Seriously, that's the only other option.
Of course, backers are trying to point out how stupid (and potentially illegal) this is. Tiko's responses aren't helping. For example:
We reserve the right to, but generally speaking we're not interested in selling data, but we may share some high level statistics with certain types of organizations.
Look, folks, when you find yourself in a hole, the first rule is to stop digging.
Well, maybe they'll reconsider?
We're happy to explain what data we collect, why we collect it, and what we do with it. However, we're just going to be completely brutally honest here and say that we will not deviate from this path. All we can do is ease the discomfort of not knowing the aforementioned information.
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