ProOnGo EULA Shows How Processing Business Cards Server Side Worries Users

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There’s an interesting app in App World right now called ProOnGo that scans your business cards with the BlackBerry’s camera and emails you them in a vCard format. The app looks great and since it was free I gave it a try. The problem is that the EULA has some very strange/aggressive wording that makes it seem like the vendor is keeping your contacts and has the rights to any contacts added via the app (see above).

The app is free for the first 10 business cards and then is available based on subscription from $0.99 to $4.99 per month. Even with the paid subscription, it seems that your contacts are still the property of ProOnGo, who could be using them for anything from newsletter and direct marketing, to selling them to 3rd party services. There’s really no way to tell.

Personally, I’ve deleted ProOnGo and won’t be using it because I’m concerned about how my contacts are being used. When somebody gives me a business card, we’ve created a trusted business relationship that I don’t want to jeopardize, and I think ProOnGo should be more sensitive to this. It’s possible that the EULA is written in such a way because of some server-side processing they’re doing, and it’s a harmless scenario, but it seems like all of this could and should be done natively.

While SHAPE Services Business Card Reader may be a good alternative, I’m considering just sticking to the trusted method of manually inputting business cards into LinkedIn. I may just have to wait until LinkedIn acquires a BlackBerry app to complement their portfolio.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is reader submitted content. Feel free to send your articles to BlackBerryCool whether it’s an app review, or something you just want to discuss.

Update from ProOnGo:

We assure you that the only information in which we have access to is the contact’s information extracted from the business card, when the image reaches our servers. We take the business card’s data, via OCR and manual entry, and compile it into a vCard, then email the user their vCard.

We value the privacy and trust of our users and wouldn’t do anything to damage that relationship, such as selling customer information without making that explicitly clear. So to be clear, we are not selling or distributing our users’ information and have absolutely no plans to do so in the future.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated the title in order to be a little more neutral in tone.

  • Caspan

    I am noticing the same thing on a few free programs. Things like QR Muncher that requires access to personal information to work. I don’t think so!

  • Kyle McInnes

    I’ve talked to the developers about this and they insist nothing malicious is going on and the contact information is being passed to their servers to be entered in Vcard format and nothing more.

    Although, I can’t help but agree with Mark that the data is too sensitive to be processed server side and the EULA would turn me off.

  • Caspan

    I emailed QR muncher because somehow they had my work email address and emailed me a satisfaction survey! I am still awaiting an answer to see what they say as to why they need personal information and don’t disclose what they are doing with it!

  • Anonymous

    I heard there is some way to use Google Goggles to import business cards

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