Dear GitLab users and customers,
On October 23, we sent an email entitled “Important Updates to our Terms of
Service and Telemetry Services” announcing upcoming changes. Based on
considerable feedback from our customers, users, and the broader
community, we reversed course the next day and removed those changes
before they went into effect. Further, GitLab will commit to not
implementing telemetry in our products that sends usage data to a
third-party product analytics service. This clearly struck a nerve with
our community and I apologize for this mistake.
So, what happened? In an effort to improve our user experience, we decided
to implement user behavior tracking with both first and third-party
technology. Clearly, our evaluation and communication processes for
rolling out a change like this were lacking and we need to improve those
processes. But that’s not the main thing we did wrong.
Our main mistake was that we did not live up to our own core value of
collaboration by including our users, contributors, and customers in the
strategy discussion and, for that, I am truly sorry. It shouldn’t have
surprised us that you have strong feelings about opt-in/opt-out decisions,
first versus third-party tracking, data protection, security, deployment
flexibility and many other topics, and we should have listened first.
So, where do we go from here? The first step is a retrospective that is
happening on October 29 to document what went wrong. We are reaching out
to customers who expressed concerns and collecting feedback from users and
the wider community. We will put together a new proposal for improving the
user experience and share it for feedback. We made a mistake by not
collaborating, so now we will take as much time as needed to make sure we
get this right. You can be part of the collaboration by posting comments
in this issue: https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/www-gitlab-com/issues/5672.
If you are a customer, you may also reach out to your GitLab
representative if you have additional feedback.
I am glad you hold GitLab to a higher standard. If we are going to be
transparent and collaborative, we need to do it consistently and learn
from our mistakes.
Co-Founder and CEO