v 1.0 April 20th, 2015

Sonica Privacy Policy

Key Points:

Sonica uses data from your smartphone to help you connect to your contacts. Some of this data is shared by you voluntarily, and some of this data is collected automatically. Generally, Sonica doesn't want to store your data or share it with 3rd parties. Data storage costs us money and the best form of security (for everyone) is not to store it at all. However, Sonica provides offline messaging so we have to retain your communications at least until the message is delivered to all the people who are supposed to receive it. We may also choose to keep messages for longer, such as to serve contextual information, or for other temporary or technical purposes. To balance our needs with your privacy, you can at any time delete messages using the Sonica application, and these messages will also be purged from our system within at most 2 hours of your deletion.

Information we collect:

Data you volunteer:
We ask you to provide personally identifiable information during registration and elsewhere. The type of data we ask you for includes,
Your home country, name, phone number, email address (Registration or My Account updates)
Your Facebook Connect authentication (to optionally link Sonica to Facebook)
Updates to your presence status profile (e.g. "I'm out to lunch")

Data we collect automatically

User communications: when you send messages, their content and metadata such as the sender, recipients, timestamps, and delivery statuses are transmitted to Sonica's servers where they may be retained for message delivery, processing, and retrieval.
Mobile device information: Your device sends us information such as the OS, device identifiers, manufacturer, screen size, language settings, carrier name, and technical capabilities.
Mobile Connection data: Your IP address and your web browser's capabilities are cached to provide persistent connectivity and to enhance security.
Log data: We collect automated usage data such the types of messages you send, their timing, and their frequency.
Cookies: We make use of both session-based and persistent cookies. You can disable cookies on your browser, but some Sonica features won't work without them.
Invitation Data: When you invite users to Sonica, we retain who you invited, whether the invites have been accepted, and the contact details of invitees.

Data we collect on-demand

(a) When you send a location message to a recipient, we retrieve your current location a single time for each location message you create.
(b) When you send audio, we temporarily record the information until it is delivered to the recipients.
(c) When you send photos or videos, any embedded data within the image (such as geolocation coordinates of where the photo was taken) are left intact.
(d) After you register and periodically as part of the 'suggest favorites' feature, we send your native address book's phone numbers to our servers. Names, numbers, and other supplemental data is not sent.

Who owns the data?

When you send messages using Sonica, you are generating new content. This content belongs to you, but you consent to Sonica holding, transmitting, or manipulating this content to facilitate delivery to the intended recipients. For example, we might have to transcode an audio message you created into a different format so it plays back on the recipient's device.

Who do you share my data with?

(a) we transmit your message contents to the recipient(s) you select
(b) we share your presence status ("I'm out to lunch") with anyone who's contact book you are in.
(c) we share your invitation requests with the people you invite
(d) we will not share your personally identifiable data with law enforcement agencies unless we believe we are required to do so by law, such as if we receive a subpoena.
(e) we may share your data in connection with a business merger or acquisition.
(f) If you are messaging to a group, and that group is public, your information is shared publically and becomes outside Sonica's control.

Special considerations for group communications:

The communication dynamics within groups bear special consideration. When you choose multiple recipients with whom to have a conversation, Sonica creates a group with these people in it and transmits the group information to all users within the group. For example, if Joe adds Susie and Brian to a group, Brian can see that Joe created the group and that Joe added both Susie and Brian to it. You should understand that anything you say or do within a group context will be shared with that group. Sometimes a group's permissions are such that any other person in the group can add more people into the group. So, always be aware of who is in the group before you send potentially sensitive information. We give you the tools to see who's in a group, and if you created the group, we also give you the tools to manage the privacy settings specific to that group such as if other members can be added, how long the group will last for, and so on.
Once a message is sent to a group, you cannot delete all copies of it because each person who received the message now has their own copy of the message.

What do you use my data for?

We use your registration information to create an account, properly route your messages, and determine who else you can privately talk to on Sonica. We temporarily store audio, photo, and video messages until they are delivered, or until you mark them for deletion, or until they become stale and are automatically marked for deletion whether or not they were delivered (36 hours.) We may statistically analyze the data from time to time to learn about usage habits and optimize performance of the communications systems. We use your IP address and the technical capabilities of your device to route or re-route your connection, messages, and audio traffic.

Information Security

We take reasonable measures to protect your data while in transit and while stored. Some, but not all, data transmission methods used by Sonica are encrypted. Some, but not all, sensitive information is obfuscated prior to transmission. Various cryptographic techniques are implemented. If your identity is questionable, our anti-fraud tools may require you to verify your identity via entry of a special PIN sent to you via SMS. If you require complete security, you must refrain from using open Wifi hotspots and instead use your cellular data connection which itself implements various security mechanisms to protect your information during transmission and retrieval.

How can I control my privacy?

(a) You can use Sonica to delete any or all messages you send from the chat view or conversation thread view within the application. All contents of deleted messages are purged from your device immediately, and from our servers within 2 hours thereafter.
(b) You can control your privacy settings which allow or deny other people from being able to contact you. For example you can set up a rule that says "only people who know my phone number can contact me" or other similar options.
(c) You can add or delete your registration identities at any time. An identity is a personally identifiable username such as your telephone number, email address, or instant messenger handle that other people can use to connect with you.
(d) You can delete your device information at any time. Historically collected device data is retained.

How do I delete my data?

You can leave Sonica at any time but you have certain responsibilities to ensure full deletion of all your data:
(1) you should first delete all your messages
(2) you should second delete all your usernames from the My Accounts view
(3) you should thirdly delete your device name from the My Accounts view.
(4) you should lastly delete the Sonica application from your device.
Please note that when you delete your messages, a copy could still exists on the recipient(s) device. In other words, when you delete a message, it is deleted from your device and from the server, but any copies of the message that exist on recipient devices are not deleted.