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Can I trust this add-on, is it safe to use it?

posted Apr 7, 2014, 8:04 AM by Faustino Rodriguez   [ updated Dec 30, 2014, 3:58 PM ]
We have received just a handful of questions like this one, however we believe it might be in many other's mind.

This is always going to be an open question, because of valid user's concerns, and also for the developers to work on improvement and building trust.

Q. Can I trust the Mapping Sheet add-on, is it safe to use?

A. That's a very fair question, the same I would ask myself on this scenario.
Our short answer: yes, it is safe to use, you can trust this add-on.

However, that's not enough, you have to do your own research, and come to your own conclusions.
You have to trust the developer / organization behind the application

Whenever privacy is a concern, specially when the organization is holding other's people information, getting into this type of applications (namely add-on now) is very tricky, to say the least.

Trust in the Cloud is critical, and it requires time and transparency.

On this type of add-on, there is an advantage around the fact that everything is happening within the user's Google account. There is no data on third party servers, nor the developer has the chance to access anything. Although the script does have access: there is, where the trust is built.

Find below a few statements in favour of that trust:
  1. We disclosed in the documentation, what the add-on does under each of your permissions, check under "Privacy, Security and Authorization"
  2. All the data you manage with this add-on stays within your Google account, more details on the same document under "In Detail - installation and user guide"
  3. The add-on only access the spreadsheets where you use the add-on, and only create files within the add-on folder (xsMapping) in your Google Drive account
  4. The only user information that is sent out of your Google account is your email address, for logging purposes. The add-on log file is a private file under the developer domain account.
  5. We cannot as persons, have access to any of the information on your account
  6. You can find real names, address, phone number, company, etc, behind this add-on
  7. Last but not least, we were part of the first add-ons at Google add-ons launch, what is not an endorsement, but it might be considered a hint on good reputation

** If there is anything else we can say or do to gain your trust, please let us know **


Other versions of this fundamental question:
Is this safe to use?  The permissions popup mentioned it has access to my spreadsheets and it also connects to an external service. Is there any way to ensure my data isn't being sent to you?
How does the add-on developer build the trust necessary for an organisation to authorise things like 'manage my drive'?

ps. no big deal, but we are on Google Maps as a verified business


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