It all started with a review…

Fortunately for us, this should be very easy to look into. It, according to the reviewer, was plain as day in the app’s privacy policy. Here are some relevant portions of said policy:

Well, that appears pretty cut and dry to me. But on the off chance that the original reviewer and I were misinterpreting or reading into this too literally, I decided to reach out to Schlage via Twitter for their response:

That was the extent of the conversation; I got no response after that. Let’s ignore the fact that they’ve blatantly and clearly said what information they will use. Let’s play Devil’s advocate and assume that, as it relates to “third party service providers”, they mean only the vendors, companies, whatever related to the development, implementation, and/or maintenance of the app. Let’s assume that the information is only used for the purposes of the app itself. Great… why couldn’t they just say that? I can only assume that’s what their Twitter account was suggesting but then again it’s so general that I could be woefully wrong. If Schlage would like to send me clarification I’ll be more than happy to update this post; that’s only fair to them.

When you speak in generalities, much like their privacy policy is written, you can cause a lot of unease amongst users. And yes, I’m not a lawyer and I realize that careful wording is a must when crafting these but I cannot understand why they wouldn’t be able to specifically state that the only third party service providers are the ones involved with the app and not companies purchasing your data. Is that too much to ask? August Home, makers of the August Smart Lock, doesn’t seem to have a problem with stating just that.

Good job, August.

But, there’s always a work-around, I suppose, albeit at the expense of your own time, effort, and circumstances (thanks to @MattEyraud):

Whether you’re a home owner or a locksmith selling smart locks, it’s in your best interest to not take products at face value and do your research. Read the privacy policies, the terms of service and agreements, etc. Make sure you understand what you or your customers are agreeing to.

For more information, here are a few links to privacy policies from the most popular smart lock manufacturers: