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Luminar 4 Sends Data to Facebook in the Background [UPDATE: Statement]

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A Reddit user running the Mac application Little Snitch 4 discovered that Skylum’s Luminar photo editor is “calling home” to Facebook while the app is in use, allegedly for “analytics purposes.”

The discovery was made by u/numblock699, who posted about the find on r/photography and r/privacytoolsIO earlier today. He noticed the anomaly as soon as he installed and booted up Luminar 4 on a new machine—testing was done on both Mac and PC—so the setting seems to be on by default, though we can’t find a way to turn this sharing off in-program.

When asked about the issue over Twitter DM, Skylum—the makers of Luminar—replied that the data collection is “done for analytic purposes.”

“Kindly note that the information we obtain with the help of in-app analytics does not provide any means for personal identification, i.e. it’s not connected to a name, email address, or other personal information in any way,” wrote the customer service rep. “Please take a moment to review our user agreement, in particular, the sections ‘When you use our products’ and ‘Your Data that we collect’.”

u/numblock699 send PetaPixel the full reply from Skylum, which you can read below:

Hi xxxxx! That’s done for analytic purposes. Kindly note that the information we obtain with the help of in-app analytics does not provide any means for personal identification, i.e. it’s not connected to a name, email address, or other personal information in any way.

Please take a moment to review our user agreement, in particular, the sections “When you use our products” and “Your Data that we collect”:

https://skylum.com/legal#when-you-use-our-products

https://skylum.com/legal#your-data-that-we-collect

We use analytics software to allow us to better understand the functionality of our Products on your computing devices, and may use cookies installed on your computer to facilitate this process. Analytics software may record information such as how often you use the Product, the events that occur within the Product, aggregated usage, performance data, and to identify the source of the application download. We may link information we store within the analytics software to Personal Data you submit when purchasing Products or interacting with our Website. We do this to improve services we offer you, to share information and marketing materials about our Products and those of others, and to improve our marketing, analytics and site functionality.

I can assure you that the data is used only for the purpose specified above, therefore, you may feel free to allow it through your security settings.

If you would like to exercise any of your rights listed in our privacy policy, please email us at [email protected]

There’s no way to know for sure what information is being passed back and forth, but u/numblock699 says that blocking the traffic between Luminar and Facebook ” doesn’t seem to cripple the software in any way.”

We’ve reached out to Skylum for comment/clarification on what kind of data is being shared, why it’s being shared, and if there is a way to opt-out in-program. We’ll update this post if and when we hear back.


UPDATE 2/8/20: Skylum has responded to our request for comment, confirming that the data being collected “can not be used to identify users” and stating that concerned users can contact support if they want that data deleted. You can read the full statement below:

We are using analytical tools and non personified data to make the product better for our customers. Understanding the concerns about personal data privacy, we can guarantee that all the data used in analytics can not be used to identify users.

As the comment provided by our support team correctly states, the information we obtain with the help of in-app analytics does not provide any means for personal identification, i.e. it’s not connected to a name, email address, or other personal information in any way.

Shall a customer wish to delete the collected data, he or she can ask the support team to do so by reaching out to us.


UPDATE 2/11/20: A Skylum spokesperson has reached out to clarify the last sentence in the above statement, since it seems to have caused some confusion:

This statement solely refers to the user’s data that the company may have collected from trial version downloads, website visits, product purchases, email subscriptions, and other interactions. There is an option for users to request these personal data to be erased from the company databases.

The mentioned statement wasn’t referring to the anonymous data collection through in-app analytics. Anonymous data and data collected from trial/website/product purchases etc – are not connected in any way and we cannot identify user actions with reference to any of the IDs.

(via Reddit)


Image credits: Image by Reddit user u/numblock699, and used with permission.

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