Thington is a concierge for interacting with a world of connected objects, at home and in the wider world.
Thington—and the information that we receive from your use of it—are both controlled by Thington Inc. You can contact Thington Inc. at 2017 Mission St #300, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA.
Account Information. You don’t need to register with Thington to use some of its features (for example seeing and searching the updates of public objects). However, to use the core features of the Service you need to be registered.
To create an account, you first sign in to the Thington via a third-party service such as Twitter or Facebook. We collect information from these services about you—and also ask you a few additional questions—to help us configure the Service. The information we collect includes your name, username, e-mail address, an avatar image and a password.
When you provide us with this information during sign-up, you agree that we can use it to provide core parts of the Thington Service. In addition we may use your contact information to send you important updates, required notices or marketing material, or to help stop spam or abuse. You can control which non-essential messages you receive via your preferences.
Social Network. During the sign-up process and occasionally afterwards we collect a snapshot of your social network on Twitter and/or Facebook.
We use this information to identify your “Friends” (someone you follow on Facebook or Twitter and who also follows you in return). When a Friend visits a Place that you manage or own (see below ‘Places’), we will notify you. You will only be notified when the Friend is also using Thington, and has agreed to this feature.
When we tell you that a Friend has arrived at a Place, you have the option to add them to its ‘Guestlist’. Similarly, when you visit a Place managed or owned by a Friend who uses the Thington Service they will be asked whether or not they would like to add you to their Guestlist.
People on a Guestlist can control some or all of the connected Devices in that Place while they’re visiting it (or if they’re nearby).
NOTE: In your preferences for a Place’s Guestlist you can also add or remove people at any time. In the same preferences you can also invite new people into the Service and straight onto a Guestlist.
If you do not want your friends to (a) be told when you visit their Places and/or (b) be able to add you to Guestlists, you can choose not to activate this feature during set-up, and you can turn it on or off at any time via your preferences.
Devices. You can control multiple connected Devices through the Thington Service and can add or delete Devices at any time via your preferences. When you add a new Device we connect with the online services of the third party that created or manages it. They then supply us with some information about the Device, allowing us to receive further updates from it and/or control it on your behalf. We in turn send your commands back to those third parties, allowing them to keep up to date with what the Device is supposed to be doing.
We post periodic updates in the Thington Service of (a) what your Devices are sensing and (b) if they have received a command from a user or from the Service. By default, these updates are visible only to the owners or managers of a Place. There are two exceptions. Firstly, people on your Guestlist can see updates in which they themselves are mentioned (for example, updates saying they’ve arrived at a Place, and updates that say they turned a light on or off). Secondly, if you choose to make an object ‘Public’ then anyone can see the updates.
People on your Guestlists can also see basic information about your Devices when they visit a Place that you manage or own. This information is displayed in their Remote Control (for example the name and current state of the Device). They can also control them. They cannot change the names of the Devices, set any preferences or rules for the Devices, or control them when they leave the proximity of the Place they're in.
We collect information about how you use your various Devices, how they’re used by people on your Guestlists, and how you use Devices at Places that you visit. We do this to help personalize your experience, understand how people use their devices, spot problems in our Services and recommend new or more efficient ways to use the Devices.
Places. Thington allows you to create a representation of one or more Places (for example your home or office). When you do so, you provide us with a textual label for the Place and its geographical coordinates. We need this for several reasons, including: to uniquely idenfity the Plcae in question, so that you can group your connected Devices together, so you can trigger behaviour when you arrive or leave, and so we can let you know when a Friend or someone on a Guestlist arrives.
Public Objects. Public objects are Devices that you have explicitly decided to make visible to all users of Thington. These objects may be displayed on the Thington Service’s ‘Nearby’ screens or elsewhere. Both the location of the Public Object and all of its updates will be visible to other Thington users, and they may choose to 'follow' them, which will put live updates from the Public Object into their feed. They can also choose to make one of the objects they control react to updates from the Public Object.
If you make a Public Object, then your User Profile will also be made public so that other users can see who owns it. If you do not want your User Profile to be public, of for people to know the location and activities of a Device, then do not make it Public!
User Profile. On your profile, your profile image, name and user-name will be displayed. When you interact with a Device owned or managed by someone else, then your profile will be visible to them. In addition, if you make a Public Object your basic profile will be associated with it and will be visible to all users.
In addition to information you provide yourself, we also collect certain types of information automatically. This information includes the type of device you are using to access the Service, unique device identifier, IP address, operating system and the way you are accessing the Service (via the web or through an application). Like most other services that have a web site, we use session and persistent ‘cookies’ and similar technologies. These are used to allow the Thington Service to work as intended, for authentication and security purposes, to remember your preferences, to manage the display of notifications from us to you, and to better understand how you use the Service so we can improve it. If you do not wish to have cookies placed on your device, you can often change your cookie settings through your device or browser settings. Be warned - doing so may affect the functionality of the Thington Service.
During the installation of our mobile application and through your use of our website, we will ask you for permission to access to your current location information. You can choose not to give us permission at this point, or later turn off or on location services for the Service through your mobile phone and/or browser preferences. However, if you do not give us permission, some features of the Service will not work.
We use your location information to improve your experience in several ways with the most important being:
We do not want to track your location all the time, and we don’t want to have a record of everywhere you’ve been, so to provide the latter part of the Service we use a feature on your mobile phone that allows us to register “boundaries” around relevant Places. Your mobile phone operating system then informs us when you enter or exit one of them. When it does so we also activate the GPS system on your mobile device to confirm your location. While your phone may track your location the rest of the time, we do not ask for it to be shared with us.
We don’t share information about your location that could identify you personally with any third parties. We may share information in an anonymized and aggregate form to help us with analytics, to help target sales or to observe behaviour differences between regions.
As explained above, we need to interact with third party products or services—including (with your permission) the manufacturers of your connected hardware—in order to provide the Thington Service. We need to connect with these companies in order to (a) give you control over your Devices, (b) give you information about what your Devices are doing and sensing, and (c) to personalize the Thington Service to you. Once you have authorized us to have access to information from these Third Party Manufacturers we receive ongoing updates from them. If you want to stop us receiving information from them, you can delete the Device from your Thington preferences. Many of these services also have preferences of their own where you can change how much information is shared with the Thington Service or rescind permission completely.
Our employees have supervised or limited access to information about you and your use of the Service which we need so that we can (a) provide the Service to you, (b) improve the Thington website or apps, and (c) help you with support queries.
We may share anonymized and aggregated information from the Service—including statistics about how the Service is used—with our affiliates, our current and future business partners, and other users. This information does not contain anything that could identify you personally.
We may offer you other opportunities to share your information with third parties through the Thington Service – for example, you may wish to share your usage information with a company that can tell you how to save money on your electricity bill. However, except as detailed below we don’t share any personally identifiable information to any third-party without your explicit permission.
When you control a Device through the Thington Service, we send those commands back to the third parties that manage or created that Device. To find out more about how these third parties use this information, please be sure to read each of their privacy policies, some of which are listed below:
It is possible that we may need to disclose personally identifying information about you if required by law, subpoena or other legal process, or if we have a good faith belief that disclosure is reasonably necessary to enforce our Terms of Service, investigate or defend ourselves against third-party claims or allegations, protect the security or integrity of the Thington Service, or protect the property, rights, or safety of our users, personnel or the public.
We attempt to notify users about legal demands for their personally identifying information when appropriate in our judgment, except when prohibited by law or court order, or under extraordinary circumstances.
In the event of a corporate sale, merger, reorganization, dissolution or other similar event, the information associated with your account may be part of the transferred assets. In this event you will be notified by e-mail and/or a prominent notice on the Thington Service of any change of ownership.
We are concerned about safeguarding the confidentiality of your information. We provide physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards, consistet with generally accepted industry standards, to protect information we collect. For example, we limit access to this information to authorized employees and contractors who need to know that information in order to operate, develop or improve the Service. Please be aware that, although we endeavor to provide reasonable security for information we collect, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.
The Thington Service is intended for general audiences and is not aimed at children under 13. We do not knowingly market to—or try to get data from—children under 13. If you are a parent or guardian and you become aware that your child has provided us with information without your consent, you should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will delete such information from our files and delete the child’s account within a reasonable time.