Important: The user information is not collected when activating a license key.
Let’s start with the most important reason we collect this information — security.
Security issues are inevitable in the software world. Whether developers like it or not, one day they will release a version that has a security issue. The issue could be directly in the code, a third-party library/framework used in the product, a WordPress core method that provides unexpected results, or several other scenarios.
If the plugin or theme developer has no way to communicate with their users, how will you know about the security vulnerability that is putting your site at risk of being hacked? The only way you might find out is if the developer was to release a public announcement or an update/patch in the hopes that you’ll notice it before any hackers do. That’s super risky because it raises awareness and creates an opportunity for hackers to exploit the situation. Therefore, it’s essential for product developers to be able to communicate with their users in a private manner.
There are many other valid reasons to maintain a direct communication channel between you and the product developer. Here is a short list of possible use cases:
- Thanking you for being a loyal user or for purchasing.
- Asking for your feedback on the product or a new feature for ongoing product improvement.
- Apologizing for making some kind of mistake. Maybe a release accidentally contained a major bug and took down your entire website, or any other number of problems that can be caused by bugs or code conflicts.
- Letting you know about special promotions or discounts like Black Friday / Cyber Monday / Giving Tuesday.
- Inviting you to special events or conferences, such as a ‘Meet the Team’ invitation to a WordCamp.
- Inviting you to the product’s beta access so that you can test releases before they are officially published in return for rewards.
- Advising you about the ending of a trial period.
- Sending you general company news and updates.
- Letting you know about new feature releases.
- Running user surveys to get your feedback on which new features you’d like to see in the product.
- Inviting you to join the product’s affiliates’ program.
- Informing you about newly published educational content or a blog post/article.
And, should the day eventually come, notifying you that support, updates, or maintenance for the plugin or theme will be ending 😔
As you can see, some of the reasons are more valuable to you as a user/customer while others benefit the developer.
At the end of the day, both sides rely on each other. Product developers build products for you, the user, and if they rely on guesswork without actually knowing what their users need, the quality of the product, features, and service will never realize its full potential. In order to create great products and offer excellent support, the developer of the product needs to understand their users’ needs and continue making sales to sustain product development and support.
Customers and License Holders
When you activate a paid product that’s using the Freemius WordPress SDK, the first thing you’ll be prompted with is a license activation screen. By activating the license — regardless of who the logged-in user that activates it is — the opt-in is triggered on behalf of the license owner. So no information about the logged-in user, or any other user, will be collected. The license owner’s information will have been collected during the purchase process and will not be changed if another user activates the license under a different email address than the one that was used for the original purchase.