RE: Follow-up to question about getting feedback from users

Subject: RE: Follow-up to question about getting feedback from users
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Boudreaux, Madelyn \(GE Healthcare, consultant\)" <MadelynBoudreaux -at- ge -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2009 10:55:00 -0600

Boudreaux, Madelyn wrote:

> First of all, I imagine that any company tracking user information has
> embedded the approval for doing so in the user agreement you accepted
by
> clicking a button during install, or possibly by breaking a seal on
the
> packaging. <snip>

But the MadCap user agreement that the tech pubs people agree to isn't
the issue. I've never seen a help file that had me accept the HAT's user
agreement before accessing the help.

It's the XYZ Software user agreement that the end user agrees to, which
may or may not mention the "phone home" function in the help file (the
people responsible for that agreement may not even be aware of this
function -- it's not part of their application, and help files are just
taken for granted).

> I know, I know. You read EVERY word of every user license agreement,
and
> you understand them all, in detail. I'm talking about everyone else.

:-)

> More interesting to me is the psychology of this whole kerfuffle*. The
> reality is that Madcap's tracking may be along the lines of those
> traffic counters you see on streets -- the hose-based ones that track
> how many people use a stretch of street. These gather very generic
data
> -- how many people traveled over the stretch, but not what kind of
car,
> which way they were going, or what their spouse's middle name is.
> There's no warning that they're coming up; you just drive over them.

Ah, but issue isn't what happens out on the street. What if someone
_snuck into your house_ and placed invisible traffic counters that
monitored how often you went to the kitchen, the bathroom, opened the
broom closet ... ? That (by all indications, including statements from
the MadCap site) is the better analogy.

> Never mind what kind of information it is, how personal it is (or
> isn't), what will be done with it, how much its collection and use
will
> benefit the users -- people don't like having ANY information taken
from
> them without their agreement. It's all in how you present it, or
whether
> you ask.

Prezactly! Whether you ask. I'll share all kinds of information with
someone who has a good reason and asks nicely. :-)

Freedom of choice is a good thing. So is a Friday kerfuffle. ;-)


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
303-223-5111
------
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
303-777-0436
------






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Follow-Ups:

References:
RE: Follow-up to question about getting feedback from users: From: Combs, Richard
RE: Follow-up to question about getting feedback from users: From: Sharon Burton
RE: Follow-up to question about getting feedback from users: From: Combs, Richard
RE: Follow-up to question about getting feedback from users: From: Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)

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