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19

Nov
2015

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inGeneral

vonJohannes Hoppe

Atom is spyware: disable metrics [solved]

On 19, Nov 2015 | Keine Kommentare | inGeneral | vonJohannes Hoppe

atom_spy

Today I realized that Atom reports usage information to Google Analytics (package: metrics). Additonally, the Exception Reporting (package: exception-reporting) reports uncaught Atom exceptions to bugsnag.com – without user permission. For obvious reasons I don’t agree to some silent tracking without any consensus!

 

Collected Data

  • A unique UUID v4 random identifier is generated according to RFC4122
    • (This was recently changed, before it was: „A unique identifier that is generated by computing the SHA-1 of the machine’s MAC address“)
  • The screen width and height
  • The version of Atom being used
  • The name of each view class or atom configuration file opened in a pane, e.g. EditorView, SettingsView,MarkdownPreviewView, and UserKeymap. No other pane item information is collected.
  • Exception messages (without paths)
  • Commands run (save core commands)
  • The amount of time the current window was open for
  • The amount of time the current window took to load
  • The amount of time the app took to launch
  • The app’s release channel (stable, beta, dev)
  • Deprecations: package name and version of each deprecation

 

Solution

There are two solutions for this problem:

Option A
Run:

apm disable metrics exception-reporting

 

Option B
uninstall atom and heavily complain at #4966. – If again possible. Right now all discussions are closed on Github. This is not cool at all! :-(

By the way, the current behavior violates European laws.
It’s a violation of users privacy and must be stopped!

 


Update August 2016:

PR #12281 and related PRs have been merged. Metrics should be disabled by default starting in Atom 1.11.0. All users both new and existing will be presented with the following dialog and asked to make a choice:

atom_consent_screen

 


Spy Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed under CC BY 3.0


 

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