Shut Up Privacy Policy

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Thank you for taking a moment to review my privacy policy for Shut Up.

I highly value the trust you place in me and my work to protect your personal information. To that end, I've worked hard to only collect info I need for Shut Up to work the way it does, and protect any info I do need to collect.

In this document, I endeavor to describe what info Shut Up collects in plain English, be clear about why I need to collect it, and – if applicable – the choices you have in limiting what data is collected.

Choose Your Browser

All versions of Shut Up have similar features, but technology and privacy considerations differ between browsers. Please choose the browser you're interested in if it wasn't detected:


How I Make Money

It's important to address this in a privacy policy, because many companies undermine your privacy to provide free services to you.

Shut Up doesn't generate any income for me. This is a hobby project. It costs me a couple hundred dollars per year to provide this extension for free. These costs include server hosting, domain name renewals, and Apple's annual developer fees.

I made this because it's something I use myself, and I figure others would want it too.

Access to Page Content and Browsing Activity

Shut Up uses JavaScript to decide whether or not to block comments as soon as you load a page. JavaScript is a general-purpose programming language, so doesn't know up-front what content Shut Up accesses on the pages you visit. This is why it declares that Shut Up can access all info on every page you visit.

When deciding whether to block comments, Shut Up reads the URLs of the pages you visit and compares them to an internal whitelist. It also injects a small amount of JavaScript into the page to handle hiding and showing comments. That's it.

Shut Up for Safari on macOS contains two extensions: Shut Up Core and Shut Up Helper. These extensions have different levels of access:

  • Shut Up Core blocks comments on webpages. It uses Safari's rule-based Content Blocker API to do this. That means Safari reads the rules that Shut Up Core provides, and blocks comments on Shut Up's behalf. Using this approach, Shut Up Core doesn't know anything about your browsing activity.
  • Shut Up Helper is an optional extension which adds a toolbar button and context menu to Safari. These let you conveniently show and hide comments on webpages. To display the correct icon in the toolbar and toggle comments, Shut Up Helper needs access to the URLs of the pages you visit.

Shut Up for Safari on iPhone and iPad uses Safari's rule-based Content Blocker API to block comments. That means Safari reads the rules that Shut Up provides, and blocks comments on Shut Up's behalf. Using this approach, Shut Up doesn't know anything about your browsing activity.

You can optionally save websites to your local whitelist. Aside from this, no browsing activity is recorded by Shut Up, and it is never shared. Page content is never recorded nor shared.

Whitelist

By default, Shut Up blocks comments on all websites. It shows comments, as an exception to this rule, through the use of a whitelist.

When you show comments on a website, Shut Up remembers that website in the whitelist. Hiding the comments again removes the website from the whitelist. It doesn't do this at all when you use 's private browsing feature.

You can stop Shut Up from adding sites to the whitelist by unchecking the "Remember where I've enabled comments" checkbox in the extension's settings.

You can view and change the contents of the whitelist when you open the app.

If you use the Shut Up Helper extension, when you show comments on a website, Shut Up remembers that website in the whitelist. Hiding the comments again removes the website from the whitelist. It doesn't do this at all when you use 's private browsing feature.

You can stop Shut Up Helper from adding sites to the whitelist by unchecking the "Remember where I've enabled comments" checkbox in the Shut Up app.

On all versions of Shut Up, the whitelist is encrypted, and never leaves your device.

Stylesheet Update

Shut Up includes an open-source stylesheet called shutup.css. This is the very core of the extension – the secret to how it's able to block comments so well and so universally. Because webpages can change at any time, Shut Up has an update feature which keeps this stylesheet fresh.

Shut Up checks for stylesheet updates from rickyromero.com every 48 hours at most, dependent on whether is running.

Shut Up Core and the Shut Up app check for stylesheet updates from rickyromero.com every 48 hours at most, dependent on whether Safari or the app are running respectively.

This update check uses the Background Refresh API on iOS and iPadOS. It happens every 24 hours at most, depending on when the operating system's heuristics allow it to run.

When Shut Up checks for updates, rickyromero.com records the following identifying info in its server logs:

  • Your device's external IP address
  • The version of you're running
  • Your device's external IP address
  • The version of Shut Up you're running

This info is recorded for diagnostic purposes and is never shared or sold. It's automatically deleted after one week.

Analytics

Opera uses the Chrome version of Shut Up, and so is subject to both Google's and Opera's respective privacy policies.

At this time, the Chrome Web Store doesn't appear to have a dedicated privacy policy. However, Google shares basic statistics with me, such as:

  • Number of active users, installations, and uninstallations
  • Which versions of Shut Up are in use
  • Users' language setting of the browser or OS
  • How many users have Shut Up enabled

Please refer to the Google Chrome Privacy Notice and Google's Privacy & Terms documents for general info.

Additionally, please refer to Opera's privacy statement for further information about Opera's privacy practices.

Please refer to the Add-ons section of the Firefox Privacy Notice for info on what analytics are collected.

Please refer to the "Extensions and Microsoft Edge Add-ons" section of the Microsoft Edge Privacy Whitepaper for info on what analytics are collected.

Please refer to this Apple Support article for info on what analytics are collected.

Please refer to this Apple Support article for info on what analytics are collected.

These analytics are anonymized, and are only viewed and used by me to understand general demographics of who uses Shut Up. I don't share or sell this info.

You can opt-out of some or all forms of this data collection by referring to the above links and following any instructions provided.

Clipboard

Previous versions of Shut Up for iOS and iPadOS proactively scanned the clipboard for any URLs you may wish to add to the whitelist. This check was completely automated and was done without accessing the Internet.

The clipboard data wasn't stored without your explicit consent, and was only used for the whitelist feature.

Version 1.8 no longer scans the clipboard for URLs. Version 1.9 brings the feature back, but as a manually-triggered Quick Action instead; the clipboard isn't scanned unless you tap the "Paste Site" Quick Action.

Contact

If you have questions or concerns about anything in this document, please email me.

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