Another Free App is Closing

News came down this week that Zaption, a popular web app that layers quiz question and other interactive features on top of videos, is closing it's doors on September 30th.

Unlike some of the other recent closures, Zaption is being purchased by a finance firm (Workday) located in San Francisco. The terms of the sale aren't public, but my guess is that Workday wants to expand it's learning service to include interactive features for their client base. It adds value to something they've already built out and saves the hassle of licensing fees.

Here's the kicker: Zaption, as far as I can tell, has no information in their Terms of Service or Privacy Policy about what happens to user data. Nothing came up when I searched the page for sale, sold, acquire, acquired, bankrupt, bankruptcy purchase, purchased, asset, assets, or close.

User data is valuable in most cases. The immediate concern is that user data will be transferred in this sale with no prior disclosure. I've reached out to Zaption via Twitter asking for clarification on the plan for that data. Given the buyer and Zaptions offering, I'm hoping data transfer isn't in the deal and that the purchase is for the codebase.

There are two important things to remember:

  1. "Free" always has a cost associated with it.
  2. Read the Privacy Policy and Terms for the apps you use.

What happens to data in these situations is important. If you're looking for a good place to start, Bill Fitzgerald worked on a project with Common Sense Media to create a Privacy Policy Browser covering the conditions for some popular educational websites and apps. Check it out and see what you've agreed to. Being informed is important.

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