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IDProjectCategoryView StatusLast Update
0015856ScribusGeneralpublic2019-10-21 07:19
Reportercalumapplepie Assigned To 
Status newResolutionopen 
Summary0015856: Create and include PRIVACY file
DescriptionScribus now has a phone-home feature that could potentially breach users privacy. We should make it clear in the repo what it sends, when it sends it, and why it is sent. The reason I am requesting this is because a new Connecticut privacy law requires that any software used in schools obey privacy requirements. Inkscape and Gimp have both been approved under this law: but Scribus has not yet been reviewed.
TagsNo tags attached.



2019-10-18 12:35

administrator   ~0046795

Scribus does not send any data related to the user computer. It only request data files such as updates, or list of resources such as spelling dictionaries, hyphenation dictionaries, icc profiles, etc...


2019-10-18 12:39

administrator   ~0046796

And these downloads are not performed automatically. The user has to push a button to trigger those.


2019-10-18 14:38

manager   ~0046798

Last edited: 2019-10-18 15:29

i had an asynchronous chat with calumapplepie and asked her/him to open a ticket for this.
(she / he is asking because a school in the us needs such a declaration before allowing any software being on a public computer for students)

i assumed that Scribus does not really share / collect information, but i still think that we could have a "PRIVACY" file (next to the README) that states (possibly among other things):

- the .sla file does not contain any information personal information except:
  - it might contain absolute paths to your images which might disclose your first name, full name, or employer
  - if you set the author in the document properties, it will also obviously be in the .sla file
- the resource manager sends following information:
  - your ip address
  - your scribus version
  - your os
  - the version of each managed resources installed
- those value are not actively stored on the server but might show up in the server log
- the server is locate in finland.
- for the information stored by sourceforge when you download the binaries, please refer to their privacy notice (with link)
- if we are serious about going for gitlab soon (which we really should...), i would add the same type of link also for gitlab (for getting the sources)

@all : please correct or complete the information above.

@calumapplepie :
- is this what you need?
- could you provide a draft document based on the information above (and eventually further notes below) so that we can add it to the scribus repository?
- if possible the document should also meet the requirements for the european GDPR (


2019-10-18 14:56

administrator   ~0046801

Last edited: 2019-10-18 14:59

>> the resource manager sends following information

The resource manager sends nothings about scribus version or version of resources installed... because it doesn't need to. Resource manager only does basic http requests to retrieve xml files containing lists of downloadable resources. It is not even sure our server will get the OS information : that part depends on how Qt handles http requests.


2019-10-18 15:09

manager   ~0046803

Last edited: 2019-10-18 15:09

ok, thans jean for the information.

so the resources manager only shares the ip address (which is obvious...)

this is exactly the information that we need to disclose.
there is so much "watching over the shoulders" going on, that it's "refreshing" to be able to say that we don't do all of that.

one more thing: i would also state what kind of information scribus includes in the created pdfs:

- version of scribus used
- the creation date
- author name if you filled the field in the document settings.


2019-10-18 15:12

manager   ~0046804

i would not urge the team to create such a document, but if somebody like calumapplepie needs it and produces the text file, than i would like to see it added to the source tree.


2019-10-18 15:14

administrator   ~0046805

After a quick look at Qt code, it seems we indeed won't get OS information from Qt http requests. Qt simply sets the user agent to ""Mozilla/5.0".


2019-10-20 19:36

reporter   ~0046813

Here is the draft privacy notice: I have added a few bits since Ale last saw it.
PRIVACY.txt (1,509 bytes)   
Scribus is a desktop application that does not make contact with external machines during normal operation.  If the user choses, they can optionally request an update of various non-executable resources from a remote server.  This update does not send any information from the users machine to the server.  It requests a list of the most recent version of each resource, and then presents this information to the user.  The user can then choose to do nothing, or instruct Scribus to update any or all of the resources.  However, in requesting the list, as well as when the further resources are downloaded, the IP address (and only the IP address) of the users machine is availible to the server, and can be logged.  Howeever, the data in these logs is not availible to third parties.

When Scribus is initally installed using SourceForge, SourceForge is able to see the user's IP address, as well as certain other information.  Please see SourceForge's privacy policy for details on their practices.

Additonally, the user can manually set metadata (such as the name of the author) on a per-document basis.  Additionally, certain metadata such as the version of scribus used to create a file as well as the date it was created, is automatically included in each document. This metadata is saved in the .sla files saved by Scribus, and some of it is included in other exported files, including .pdf files.  As such, if the user chooses to send files produced by Scribus, they will also send this information.
PRIVACY.txt (1,509 bytes)   


2019-10-21 07:19

manager   ~0046814

a few comments from my side:

- the update of resources *is* "normal operation".
- i would not use "if the user choses, they can"... just use the plural for users...
- "from the users machine" needs an apostrophe somewhere...
- you don't need to document the resources manager...
- we should not say anything about what sourceforge sees/stores. just refer to their privacy document (we need the link!)
- in most cases, such documents are written with lot of bullet lists. you introduce a concept than use a list to specify the details. for easy parsing.
- a privacy document, should list all the (potential) privacy relevant things in scribus. the goal is to give the users the information on how to protect themselves if they need to. not to cover scribus' ass (sorry, i could not find a synonym)) ... even if we write this to please the manager of an high school, it's not a letter to them!

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
2019-10-18 11:46 calumapplepie New Issue
2019-10-18 12:35 jghali Note Added: 0046795
2019-10-18 12:39 jghali Note Added: 0046796
2019-10-18 14:38 ale Note Added: 0046798
2019-10-18 14:56 jghali Note Added: 0046801
2019-10-18 14:57 jghali Note Edited: 0046801
2019-10-18 14:59 jghali Note Edited: 0046801
2019-10-18 15:09 ale Note Added: 0046803
2019-10-18 15:09 ale Note Edited: 0046803
2019-10-18 15:12 ale Note Added: 0046804
2019-10-18 15:14 jghali Note Added: 0046805
2019-10-18 15:29 ale Note Edited: 0046798
2019-10-20 19:36 calumapplepie File Added: PRIVACY.txt
2019-10-20 19:36 calumapplepie Note Added: 0046813
2019-10-21 07:19 ale Note Added: 0046814