Last Updated: December 4, 2014
Before we go into some detail about how RealProven does not collect any data about you from ChatSeal, you should be aware of one thing that relates to your privacy with this app:
No security product is ever 100% secure.
If governments, major financial institutions and successful retailers can have security breaches, it can happen to anyone at any time. The simple fact is that the only way to be absolutely secure is to have nothing to steal.
Although this app employs some of the best encryption and information hiding techniques available, you should assume that these qualities only make it much harder, not impossible, for someone else to eventually read or access your personal messages. If you couldn’t afford for something to become public someday, save that experience for a different forum. As has always been the case, the most personal exchanges are best experienced without technology.
Our commitment at RealProven is to build real products with no illusions attached to them. That means our standards are very high for what we deliver and what we hope you come to expect from us. It also includes giving you the best information we have to allow you to make informed decisions about your purchase.
Be personal, but stay safe.
Understanding your privacy options is often a tricky business on the Internet, which is why we’re going to start by speaking very plainly about it. More complete explanations will occur later in this document, but only after we’ve had a chance to come to a basic understanding on how RealProven regards your privacy while using ChatSeal.
Very simply, we want to put you entirely in control of deciding how much involvement we have over time. Finding us, purchasing ChatSeal, accepting updates, telling us how we can improve, and looking at what new products we have – are entirely your choices to make. It gets awfully messy when companies are always building products (especially free ones) that must continually monetize their customers’ data in order to remain in business. How do you draw the line about what is information you want them to have versus what they got indirectly from your use of their products? The short answer is that it is impossible to ever be sure. We all generate a huge footprint of data on the Internet over our lives and that ends up being used for good and not so good reasons by many popular companies.
That is why ChatSeal is sold, not given away. Our interaction is as simple as a trade of money for software. Once that is complete, we will have no direct connection to you unless you choose otherwise. We keep no record of you or your purchase. We don’t have anything in the app that sends any of your data to our servers. Other than the information that Apple provides about app sales and usage, we effectively know nothing about you and prefer to keep it that way. That kind of relationship ends up being a lot more honest we think, because if our products are good enough to consider a second look, you know where to find us.
Just so we’re absolutely clear, here are some very concrete statements about privacy in ChatSeal:
- Please be aware that while ChatSeal offers privacy, it does not offer complete or absolute anonymity. When you use ChatSeal to send messages through Twitter, you are using a personally identifiable user name for your communication, even if your messages are obscured. For example, law enforcement may never be able to read your messages, but could certainly prove that you own a given Twitter account and have some sense for who you may be communicating with.
- RealProven considers the privacy of children to be of the utmost importance. For that reason, our policy toward data collection in ChatSeal is very black and white. Specifically, there is absolutely no data ever collected from your device by ChatSeal and sent to RealProven for any reason whatsoever. Nothing. Ever.
- Whenever ChatSeal must access your personal content, like your Twitter feeds, or share content with friends on your behalf, it will always give you the choice to approve that. Nothing is ever transferred off of your device without your knowledge and consent.
- There is no third-party data collection performed by ChatSeal. Although ChatSeal uses third-parties like Twitter to exchange your messages, we intentionally only use their public services and never transmit any unencrypted, sensitive data to them.
Your Personal Data
In order to provide a messaging experience for you, ChatSeal accesses personal data on your iOS device on your behalf. The following pieces of personal information are used internally by ChatSeal:
- ChatSeal availability. In order to provide reliable and easy to use seal transfer, ChatSeal broadcasts your device as a custom, but anonymous, Bonjour service to all devices in your local vicinity (limited by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth distance). The Bonjour service uses no personally identifiable information in its name. While great care has been taken to prevent unauthorized accesses of your device, the service can be used to infer that someone nearby is using ChatSeal.
- Your photo library and camera. Photos can be inserted into messages or used as a design for a seal. Seals are displayed on the secure message posted on your Twitter feed, so it is best to never use any personal or sensitive photo as a seal image.
- Your configured Twitter accounts in Settings. Your Twitter accounts along with their current configurations (friends lists, blocked/muting states, posted tweets, profile pictures, etc) are used for reliably sending and receiving personal messages. The names of these accounts will be shared with friends during seal/message exchanges only after you approve their transfer.
- The current configurations of your Wi-Fi, cellular and Bluetooth networking settings. These are used to make intelligent decisions about how to transfer seals between devices and when to exchange messages with your Twitter account.
- Any messages you send or receive while using ChatSeal. All of these messages are encrypted on-disk and only used from your local device.
- Your past ChatSeal message history. When you permit ChatSeal to share your feed names, it will also include a short list of the last Twitter post ids that you sent on each feed to allow your friends to easily find prior messages. This message history is limited to the numeric ids of any posts with private content. If your friends do not have seals that can open those posts, they will not be able to read them.
- Your seal identifiers. Every seal is identified internally to ChatSeal with a very long numeric value to uniquely organize it during normal operation. This identifier is used to create a piece of imprecise text when posting to Twitter in order to minimize processing overhead on friends’ devices as they look for your messages. Although the same posting text could be generated for other Twitter users, it is constant for your use of the seal and your Twitter user name.
We are very conscious of the fact that the Internet can be an unpredictable environment, especially for kids. That is the reason why ChatSeal is not intended for children under the age of 13, and we do not knowingly collect personal information from anyone (adults or children) using it. If you become aware your child has used ChatSeal without your consent, please contact us and we will advise you on your options for erasing their message history. If we ever become aware a child has provided us with personal information, we will take steps to remove that information and prevent similar occurrences in the future.
Data Retention and Deletion
ChatSeal only retains your personal content in an accessible way on your device and the devices of people to whom you’ve sent messages. When content is sent to a third-party service, like Twitter, it is always encrypted before it is sent and those services have no access to read or otherwise consume that content. If at any point you wish to delete your own copies of personal messages, you need only delete ChatSeal from your device. If you want to delete your content on your friend’s devices, you can configure your seals to expire their content after a period of time and/or after a screenshot is taken.
Sharing Your Information
At RealProven, we value our independence and assume you do also. That is why we don’t intentionally share any sensitive information from your use of ChatSeal with any third-parties, unless required by law. Aside from the minimal purchase and usage analytics provided by Apple to its developers, we will never collect, use or sell your personal information for any reason.
Compliance With Laws
ChatSeal was intentionally engineered so that you will retain maximum control over your content. It accomplishes this by only storing encryption keys on your device and the devices of friends who have your seals. This means that not even we can read your personal messages without your knowledge. However, to every extent possible, RealProven will cooperate with all applicable laws in the countries in which ChatSeal is sold. Information about you or your use of ChatSeal will be provided under these circumstances:
as required by law, such as to comply with a subpoena, or similar legal process;
when we believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights, protect your safety or the safety of others, investigate fraud, or respond to a government request;
with our trusted services providers who work on our behalf, do not have an independent use of the information we disclose to them, and have agreed to adhere to the rules set forth in this privacy statement.
if RealProven, LLC is involved in a merger, acquisition, or sale of all or a portion of its assets, you will be notified via a prominent notice on our Web site of any change in ownership or uses of this information, as well as any choices you may have regarding this information.
If you have any questions regarding privacy while using ChatSeal, or have questions about our practices, please contact us for further information.