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#7: Privacy

Hi there - I hope you’ve had a wonderful summer break!

I normally write the Brush Ninja newsletter on the first day of the month but you may (or may not) have noticed that last months was missing. I’m going to say this is because it’s the summer holidays and I was taking some time off, but actually I just forgot. Sorry.

But at the same time, I did enjoy some time off. I haven’t worked on Brush Ninja for a month or so, but I have a list of things I want to work on (including things I have have mentioned in previous newsletters) so I hope to start on them in the not too distant future.

Privacy

Privacy online is a contentious issue. In short big businesses (Facebook, Google, Amazon, and more) are in the business of slurping up all the data they can so that they can use or sell it - often in the form of adverts. And this makes me very uncomfortable.

And so I only use privacy focused services, and I don’t sell ads or data that might compromise on my vision of keeping the website private and free. By doing this I lose a lot of money that could be earned by adding ads to the site, but it makes me happy to know that my website is as private as I know how to make it.

User Accounts

Brush Ninja works in your web browser only. The code is downloaded from my site and then runs on your computer; so why don’t I have user accounts? User accounts are a very common request and having them would get rid of the issues with saving and reloading animation data, and it would allow fun features like user galleries, but it would be a privacy (and technical) nightmare.

There is an online privacy law called COPPA which is all about protecting children online, and a lot of Brush Ninja’s users are minors. Unfortunately I don’t have the technical knowledge, or the legal knowledge, to add user accounts; certainly not in a way that would keep everything private and comply with the COPPA requirements.

Brush Ninja has been designed to be minimal cost from the start, so I can keep it running even if it doesn’t make much money (which it doesn’t). I’d love to earn more money from Brush Ninja, but not at the expense of my users. I want the animators creating things with Brush Ninja to have a safe, enjoyable experience; ads and user tracking would not allow this to happen.

If you do want to support me then you can sign up to Patreon (any amount is very much appreciated), but if not, that’s cool too. Just keep sharing and creating animations and I will keep Brush Ninja running online, for free, for as long as I can.

All the best - Ben

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