By
In Blog

Hey all!

It’s been a very exciting evening and first day of the Extensions launch, and we’re looking forward to hearing what you all want us to build next. It has come to my attention that there is some concern about the Google Analytics data we collect in our Twitch Extensions, Overlay and Leaderboard.

I’d like to address this by being as transparent as I can possibly be about the data we collect, how it is handled, and how we use it. Before I go into that it’s worth noting that we’ve taken down the relay servers that we use to proxy data to Analytics, so as of ~ 11AM CST we are no longer collecting any data about how our applications are being used. We’re doing an internal review to make sure everything we collect is compliant with all relevant rules, regulations and policies and will re-enable the analytics once we’ve completed that review.

Tl;dr We use a limited version of Google Analytics to better understand how viewers are using our applications in order to make them better, all within the scope of the Extension and Developer agreements we’ve signed with Twitch, as well as our Privacy Policy, which can be accessed from the Details pages of our Extensions.

Why do we collect data?

Muxy has a goal to provide the best software available for Twitch broadcasters. Building software for an audience as large as Twitch is no easy task, and with the release of Extensions we are in a period of little information to make decisions on how to continue to build Muxy Extension products. Non-personal data is used to tell us how to improve our systems, especially our backend services. This practice is not unique to Muxy, and is used in nearly all software and websites.

In order to make extensions easier to build Muxy has released a JavaScript library that does a bunch of the hard work for developers. That library is open source and contains all the analytics code we use in our production applications. For the more technical users, you can browse that here:

https://github.com/muxy/extensions-js/blob/master/src/analytics.js

The data we collect is:

Page Domain, Page URL, Page Path, Page Referrer (doesn’t work), Page Title, Screen Resolution, Browser User Agent (http://www.whoishostingthis.com/tools/user-agent/), User Opaque Twitch ID (This can not be used to find your real Twitch ID), User IP (This is not accessible to us once in Google Analytics. I believe it’s used to determine country), User Language, Viewport Height and Width, Channel ID, User Role, Channel Game, User Video Mode, Video Latency, and Video Bitrate.

We also collect data related to specific events, like when a viewer opens an app in Overlay. We do not use any cookies, nor do we attempt to fingerprint your browser.

What happens to the data?

Twitch has a very strict policy about cookies in Extensions that we abide by, specifically in Schedule 2 under clause (a):

Twitch will allow you to place cookies for the purpose of effecting end user preferences, e.g., format, position, etc., of the Extension. This means you will, among other things, not use cookies to (a) engage in data science activities or perform analytics on end users and their activity on Twitch; or (b) create demographic clusters or end user profiles for the purpose of contacting or targeting end users on or off the Twitch Services.

Because of this clause we do not use Google Analytics directly, as it uses cookies to track user demographics and other data. To protect user privacy from Google’s rather invasive cookies, we set up a proxy server that allows us to send the above mentioned data to Google Analytics without running Google’s JavaScript, which is how we prevent Google’s JavaScript from sending up all of the Google cookies in your browser.

Now that the data has made it up to Google Analytics what do we do with it?

There have been many internal uses for Analytics data so far over the last several months of collecting data during the beta. We’ve used it to determine which browsers, resolutions and video modes (full-screen, theatre or standard) people are running so that we can test and optimize for those factors. In addition to better understanding what technology people are using to access our page, we’ve also been working on localizing our applications. The language data makes it very easy to figure out which languages we should focus on first.

In addition to those uses, it’s been very helpful to see which apps in our Overlay are commonly used by broadcasters and how often they’ve been launched by users. We are working on ways to enable broadcasters to access the data collected by our Analytics for their own channels in ways that would benefit their streams. Some cool things we intend on building are: How many people are on my channel right now before they even go live, alerts for when their video bitrate is causing excessive buffering, and a bunch more cool things we were planning on offering. We’ve not been able to ship those features because we wanted to make 100% sure that broadcasters wouldn’t get access to data from another channel. We will not release these features until we have safeguards in place.

We don’t release any of Google Analytics data to third parties, in accordance with Twitch’s policies in Section IV of the developer agreement in clause C:

Data, including any data you collect about Twitch’s end users or their browser activity, or insights derived from that data, may not be sold or made available to, or otherwise shared with, any affiliates or third parties for any purpose without Twitch’s permission.

We have always honored that clause as well as the rest of the Developer Agreement.

So that’s how we collect, transmit and use the limited Google Analytics data we collect. We hope you continue to enjoy and benefit from the software we have built for Twitch broadcasters. If you have any questions at all feel free to email us at our support email.

Thanks ya’ll,

Peter Bonanni

CEO, Muxy.io

Recent Posts