While Traktor Pro 2.10.1 brings some very useful Stems related stuff, it also seems that Native Instruments wants to know just a little bit more about how you use it. To this end, they’ve introduced page data tracking to the latest release, by default, without mentioning it first.

Apparently, it’s nothing sinister like personal details – this is what’s being tracked:

Data Being Tracked

The following data will be transmitted by Usage Data Tracking:

  • System profile
  • Current location (country and city)
  • Data about your interaction with TRAKTOR (e.g. actions you perform or audio interfaces you connect)

Data Not Being Tracked

The following data will not be gathered by Usage Data Tracking:

  • Personal data (Name, email address, payment details, serial numbers, etc.)
  • TRAKTOR content (track names, samples, playlists, tags, comments, mappings etc.)
  • Any user activity outside of TRAKTOR

This was also posted in the 2.10.1 release notes on the official Traktor forum:

New Anonymous Usage Data Tracking
TRAKTOR now features anonymous usage data tracking which allows NI to learn about the types of computers and operating systems being used to run TRAKTOR (for improving our compatibility and performance testing scenarios) and general information about how the software is being used (the size of the Collection, number of tracks played, preferred screen layout, etc.) to help us refine features and workflows. More details can be found in the following Knowledge Base article: http://www.nativeinstruments.com/en/support/knowledge-base/show/4519/

You can read all about it right here, and includes how to switch it off (go to preferences/Global settings).

SO WHAT IS BEING COLLECTED?

It would appear to be info associated with what you use and how you use it. Your system profile is likely to be just hardware and software related info such as computer make and model, OS version etc, so that NI can build a picture of what their users are running Traktor on. Future development could rest on details like users generally running older computers with older OSes. The plethora of Windows hardware and software variants is a known nightmare for all software makers and having stats on such things can only help.

The interaction with Traktor is interesting too. If the data can for example show that only three specific effects are used by 95% of the user base, or that hardly anyone uses MIDI mapping, then this can effect future development too. The audio interfaces data is interesting,  as our own Dan Morse commented that this could be a way for NI to see if the infamous but tolerated audio interface hack is being used and by how many people.

So reading between the lines and making a lot of assumptions, it seems like pretty harmless data collection. I’m sure someone more adept at packet sniffing can tell us exactly what is being sent to NI from Traktor Pro 2.10.1.

BUT…

Having spent a good deal of time last year dealing with site hackers and having personal data put on dark sites, I’m especially mindful and sensitive to any data being sent out from my computers without my express rather than implied permission. And frankly it’s just good manners to ask.

So I get that this isn’t sensitive personal and identifiable user information, and is designed to help make Traktor better. And it appears to be done with the very best of intentions, but an opt-in at install would have been a considerably better approach, especially in these privacy-sensitive times. I hope it’s changed in future updates.

… Mark installs Little Snitch to see what else is being sent out to the DJ world without his knowledge…


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