Who Can See Your Data?

Occasionally we hear of misconceptions regarding Fusion. We would like to address one of these now because it strikes at the core of our philosophy. From the day we started developing Fusion, one of the guiding principles we insisted on was that each customer would have complete control over their data and that neither we, nor anyone else, would have access to that data. This is so important to us that we have tried to express it through the tag line for our company logo: “Putting You In Control of Your Data”. This has never changed. The only exception is when a customer asks us to come to their site or remotely log in to look at their data for support purposes.

In some ways it would have been easier for us to store all data from every location on a central server. This would have made support and upgrades less complex for us. However, the only way to ensure that a customer’s data stays completely in their control is for that data to physically be at the customer’s site. This is why we designed Fusion so that each customer has their own server located in their yard. When Fusion Truck synchronizes with Fusion Server, all communication stays on the local network between these two computers. Likewise, when Fusion Client is connected with Fusion Server, all communication happens only between these two computers.

Of course, there are ways for Fusion Server to send some customer data to other entities if the customer chooses. For example, a customer can ask Fusion Server to send move in events to CCIA or Benchmark data to Elanco. In each case, this data is transmitted directly from Fusion Server to the chosen entity. This data never comes to us. In fact, we can’t even tell how many people use these features in Fusion. This is completely under our customer’s control.

So far we have been referring to business related information. There is another kind of data that does get sent to us which we have previously only described in general terms to our customers. In the spirit of complete openness, we will now give a complete list of what we refer to as “server health data” which each customer’s server sends to our central server (located in the Waterton, AB area):

  • We are notified when a back up begins and ends. This allows us to proactively ensure that customer data is safe.
  • We are notified when Fusion Server launches or is shut down. This helps us identify patterns where Fusion Server may not be working correctly.
  • Each night certain statistics about the server are sent to us. This includes details such as the percentage full of the hard drive, the operating system version, the server’s local IP address, recent memory usage fluctuations, crash counts, the size of the data and index files, and some of Fusion Server’s settings. This helps us improve Fusion Server and proactively resolve issues.
  • Each night Fusion Server performs an integrity check on the data and index files and then lets us know if the check passed.
  • When Fusion crashes, information about the error (error number, error method, line of code, etc.) is sent to us so we can proactively fix bugs that cause crashes. This may include a screenshot if the person who saw the crash specifically requests this.
  • License keys are automatically renewed through communication with this central server. Because licensing and billing are almost always tied to head count, a customer’s head count is sent to the central server. This is the only data we receive that could be construed as business or private data. Even so, we obfuscate it by having Fusion Server send just the average head count over the past 365 days so we don’t ever know the current head count at a customer’s place.
  • When Fusion is first set up at a customer’s place, we receive the name of the customer’s business along with the contact information associated with it. This is used for billing purposes and is collected in this automated way to save time and effort.

As you can see, the data that does come to us from customer’s servers does not include any normal, business data. We don’t know about customer’s lots or animals or pricing or anything of that nature. We only collect a small amount of data related to their servers’ health so we can proactively help keep their servers running.

We have tried to be open in the past. For example, we publish all of Fusion’s documentation on our website even though this allows competitors to see everything. We hope that being more open about where customer data lives and our philosophy regarding customer data will help erase any misconceptions regarding this issue.

Feel free to contact us if you have further questions regarding this topic.