Gaia GPS acquired by Outside Interactive

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    clifford.smith

    It's not just the cost of the subscription, I suggest everyone read the new Terms of Use and Privacy Policy that comes into effect August 1. Wow. Some interesting implications to any of our 'content' on Gaia! :(

     

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    kvangork

    Yeah, I'm very disturbed at the implications of everything in that new privacy policy. Particularly the report that Outside has shared "biometric information" and sold "biographical information" in the past 12 months.

    Gaia GPS team, it would be very helpful if you posted some clarification of what your email meant by this phrase: "While the privacy policy may not reflect how we use your data today at Gaia GPS"

    Is the implication that our Gaia GPS user content and personal information is now or will be soon used in all the ways described in the Outside policies? If not, for the sake of user trust please have your new lawyers create a privacy policy that reflects how you do and will continue to use our information.

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    5stone

    Here's a similar but much longer discussion that no longer pops to the top of the General Discussion forum when a comment is added.

    https://help.gaiagps.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/1500000459122-Is-it-true-you-were-bought-by-Pocket-Outdoor-Media-?page=1#community_comment_4403828843159 

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    clifford.smith

    I'm particularly troubled by the lack of response from Gaia. I think they're hoping they can ride this out and maybe only lose a few subscribers and the rest won't notice or pay attention to the the changes?

    I like the product and wish to continue using it, but it's looking like I'll be moving elsewhere ... :(

     

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    5stone

    I think that might be a fair assumption given 1) the lack of response and 2) that they published the privacy policy changes at 5:03pm MST on the Friday of a long holiday weekend 3) that they used vague language in the email notification of the privacy policy with links to read more if you care to and 4) and this one is a guess, but I assume that Outside has some experience with this kind of thing. Unfortunately most subscribers probably won't notice or pay attention to the changes. Here's one: I take copious notes (content creation) about my tracks, my planned routes, etc etc. (in addition to my pictures and waypoints). Is that data mine and private or can it be leveraged by Outside?

    Boy wouldn't it have been great if instead of a draconian "we own all your data, we own your soul" privacy policy update they would have instead at least led with a great new feature or two that they touted as being only possible through the "partnership" with Outside?? No, instead they went for the ol' boy that nice small company sure doesn't know how to monetize all that user data! They're not connecting the dots! Boy we sure could integrate ad content into this ecosystem and boy howdy can we now super target! And look at all that useful information that the users have created for us! GPX tracks galore that we can harness for our own purposes. One wonders how everyone who has worked so hard to make Gaia a useful and valuable tool feels. I also wonder how much the owner sold out for but of course that's private info. Oh well, another sad day as another awesome homegrown tool is assimilated into a "we're in it for the money, look at this yacht I now own!" media conglomerate. Sigh.

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    clifford.smith

    See? This is playing out exactly as they planned. If they just ignore it they can skate through without most of their customers realizing (or caring) what is happening. I sent in a request to their support desk 2 weeks ago asking if stuff I have marked as private will remain so. They're just ignoring that too.

    I guess we all now know how this is going to play out. It's sad as I liked the service and even if I could wrap my head around being ok with the new terms of use, I can't continue to support a company that operates this way. :(

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    r.a.stull

    Gaia GPS Team,

    11 calendar days have passed since I sent you this email and I got a, "we'll be with you in usually not more than a business day" canned email from Zendesk. I'm going to start posting this letter everywhere I can find if you don't respond. Perhaps it's time we begin a discussion on class-action lawsuits for invasion of privacy. My legal agreement was with your company. If you think you can just transfer your responsibilities and make all agreements null and void through a sale, you could at least point out in your terms of service (the original terms we agreed to) where you have the right to sell us all as commodities.

    Gaia GPS Team,
        Please discontinue my subscription prior to transfer of any digital information pertaining to my personal information and use data of the Gaia GPS app to the Outside brand. I do not agree with the terms of use or with the privacy policy as set forth at the links in the email sent to me on 7/2/2021. I do not agree to the terms of use specifically in that I do not want to be contacted or targeted by any affiliates for anything other than the app I purchased access to, namely Gaia GPS. I find the attitude and language of the new terms abhorrent and arrogant, specifically item:

    "2.1 Modification of the Services. We reserve the right to modify the Services at any time with or without notice to you. For example, we may add or remove functionality or features, and we may suspend or stop a particular feature altogether. If you do not like any changes, you can stop using the Services at any time."

        If a merchant or vendor said something like this to me, face to face, I would throw the product in their face and tell them where to put it. The language of the new terms says, "We're going to change the app you love into something that will make us more money and if you don't like it, you can pack sand. We're going to use your information to shove things down your throat from 30 other companies we're trying to make more money on and if you don't want those communications, you will have to jump through hoops to get each of the 30 companies we're sharing your information with to leave you alone."

        I put so much time and effort into building useful maps, with areas and way-points for my own personal use and now that you got paid, I got sold down the river. I DO NOT AGREE to being a commodity you can buy and sell. I DO NOT AGREE with the terms that I must use arbitration to allow you to trample over me and my rights. I want a refund of the portion of my subscription I will not be able to use due to the new policies, which I did not agree to. If I receive email from affiliates of Outside without my permission, I will not be seeking arbitration, but legal redress by whatever means necessary. Rather, prior to the new terms of use becoming active and the transfer of my data to Outside, I request all of my data and account information deleted.

        Perhaps I am completely off the mark and Outside is the best thing to happen to Gaia GPS. Please feel free to assure me the app will remain outstanding and won't be hollowed out in the interest of making money, as YouTube by Google or any number of excellent apps ruined by Facebook. Please tell me that to continue using Gaia GPS, I'm not going to be required to pay multiple times the subscription fee for 29 other things I don't want, packaged into some Uber Outside Package. Please tell me I'm overreacting. As a customer, I would be pleased to know somebody actually read my concerns and I would be thoroughly impressed should I also get a response addressing my concerns. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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    kevinp

    I sent this email to Gaia:

    I read through your new privacy policy:
     
     
    I am a Premium user and have no desire to have my data, particularly my location, collected and shared with Google and other random privacy violators.
     
    Can I opt out of all data collection?   If not, I will have to consider canceling my subscription and deleting your app, or severely limiting its ability to collect my location.
     
    I got this response:
     
    Unfortunately, with Gaia this is an all or nothing thing. You can either accept the terms or cancel your account. You may want to reach out to Gaia GPS customer service for more details: https://help.gaiagps.com/hc/en-us/requests/new
     
     
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    5stone

    Well, at least you got a response despite it not being a PUBLIC one. As mentioned by others, it's telling that nothing is being said in any of these threads, which I bet certain folks are hoping with fingers crossed that these critical posts die out soon, everyone forgets, and it goes back to "why can't I have this feature?!!" pleas. Too bad new comments to these older posts don't seem to pop these older threads to the top like in some forums.

    But surprise! Of course this is an all or nothing thing! Despite my earlier comment about trying to be positive and hoping they'd build granular privacy controls to let us have at least SOME control of our personal data, I knew that was never gonna happen. 

    I wonder what the internal conversations on this new policy are like. Did the employees sign up years ago to become assimilated into the anything goes, privacy be damned, media borg? I imagine convos like: "Should we respond to the those critical posts? No! what are we going to say? Saying anything will just stir the pot more. The new owners won't listen nor change anything. Let's just ignore those few critical posts and see if they die out." The regular rank and file will sigh, dejected, as this level of privacy invasion and data harvesting wasn't what they signed up to build, while many miles away the new corporate overlords chuckle, knowing this minor outcry always happens on a takeover but that it'll die out soon and then they can get on with harvesting all the data and selling it to whomever has a dollar and wants it for any reason. 

    Can you smell the progress? Can you anticipate the awesome new "features"? The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades.

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    twm1618

    anything new on these topics? I've been waiting about a week for a response to a fairly basic question, but so far... nada. All this shouting into the void is a little disconcerting. (New subscriber, here)... t

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