Old 12-08-2020, 10:06 AM
The truth is out there

Granada is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 130
SkySafari and LiveSky

I kept getting prompted to sign up for a LiveSky account every time I used my SkySafari app so that I can easily share info between the multiple devices I use. So I finally signed up only to find:
  1. You can choose not to have your data backed up to their servers, but that would defeat the purpose of signing up to the LiveSky account in the first place. But you can't choose which data is backed up - it's all or nothing. That means your observing locations are also shared, thus allowing someone with access to your data to easily work out where you live. Keep in mind that data breaches are common these days so it's not too far fetched to imagine a scenario where your data ends up in the wrong hands, especially when you don't know where your data is hosted and under what security measures, if any. Also keep in mind that all US-hosted data is subject to the PATRIOT Act which gives government agencies the right to access and use your data.
  2. Here's the kicker that's hidden in the Ts&Cs fine print: You can't edit or delete data in your LiveSky account unless you sign up to the Premium subscription which of course costs money. With the free Basic subscription, you can only upload and access your data. I concede that it's on me, the consumer/user, to read and agree to all the Ts&Cs before signing up, but in reality a lot of people don't 'cos we'd be spending all our time reading lengthy Ts&Cs for all the different software/apps we install daily (hence why people have come up with documents like PDSs). Instead it would have been helpful to have this info highlighted on the sign up page which is the norm these days - just a summary of features you get with each subscription type. Instead, they put that page in your LiveSky account which you can only access once you've signed up - that's a dirty tactic IMO.
  3. The process of getting rid of your LiveSky account is not straightforward and is not documented formally. There is no way to sign out using your app once you've signed in (even if you reinstall the app), or to delete your account by yourself. I found on the developer's forums that you have to email them personally to ask to have your account deleted and data purged. To their credit, once you email them they do eventually respond but the process shouldn't be this obscure, manual and out of the user's hands.
Understand for some people none of this is much of a concern, but for those who wish to retain control over their data this info might be helpful to know before signing up for a LiveSky account.
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