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Re: Re: Re: What happened to the

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg76132] Re: [mg75742] Re: [mg75673] Re: What happened to the
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Wed, 16 May 2007 05:47:51 -0400 (EDT)
  • Reply-to: jfultz at

The privacy policy is here...

although we certainly should have mentioned this in-product.  That's our
oversight, which we'll fix in the next incremental release by adding something
to the About Box.

As for the information that's being logged, you can naturally expect that the
same kind of information logged by virtually every web server on the planet is
also being logged by us.  Aside from that, license and version information are
sent.  These help make sure that our servers are secure and available for users,
and that any data we serve is appropriate for the version of Mathematica making
the request.

If this at all concerns you, or if it violates any of your institution's 
Internet policies, keep in mind that you can always turn these features off in 
the Preferences dialog.  That stops all automatic Internet traffic, period,
while user programs written to query the Internet will still function.  And
there are no updating processes, Internet connections, or anything of the sort 
that happen when Mathematica is not running.

Mathematica Internet requests are not frequent.  All the data you fetch are
cached locally, so only the first request for any particular data hits the 
Wolfram server.  The only regular contact with our servers is the weekly contact 
to update the documentation index.  All other contacts happen the first time the 
data are specifically requested.  This includes individual documentation
which have been updated by us and data used by functions such as 
FinancialData[], AstronomicalData[], etc.

John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

On Wed, 9 May 2007 05:03:51 -0500, Chris Chiasson wrote:
> Is any information such as the following being sent, correlated and/or
> recorded?
> time & date
> documentation path
> IP address of client
> Internal`$CreationID
> $LicenseID
> $MachineID
> $Version
> $System
> $UserName
> Is any of this information cross referenced with Wolfram's website
> access logs/data, customer records, or other records?
> Some of this information falls under the category of personally
> identifiable information, and it is important for users to know what
> is being done with it, especially how it is being correlated,
> analyzed, and disseminated (possibly to third parties).
> What is the privacy policy? What is the policy on notification of
> changes to the policy? Etc...
> On 5/9/07, John Fultz <jfultz at> wrote:
>> On Tue, 8 May 2007 05:55:29 -0400 (EDT), David Bailey wrote:
>>> Chris Chiasson wrote:
>>>> On 5/6/07, Barthelet, Luc <lucb at> wrote:
>>>>> I am with Murray on this. I have not used the old interface for a
>>>>> long time
>>>>> now, and yes, at first I complained about not having it. The new
>>>>> one
>>>>> works
>>>>> fine.
>>>>> Plus :
>>>>> 1) some of the tutorials are just fantastic!
>>>>> 2) the help system is constantly updating from the online
>>>>> connection
>>>>> so it
>>>>> gets better and better.
>>>>> 3) the information is usually more relevant
>>>> How is the help system constantly updated? Is that mentioned in the
>>>> software somewhere?
>>> The help system is incomplete as usually installed, and acquires
>>> additional information from the Wolfram website as required.
>>> David Bailey
>> Actually, the help system is complete as installed.  David is thinking
>> of some
>> of the beta versions where we didn't bundle all of the documentation,
>> but all
>> documentation did ship with the released 6.0 version.
>> While I'm talking about this, I'll also address the questions people
>> have asked
>> about how the documentation gets its updates.  Mathematica downloads an
>> index
>> from a Wolfram server containing version information about all of the
>> documentation files.  This is done at startup if the index hasn't been
>> updated
>> in more than a week.  Then, any individual files which the cached index
>> indicates need to be updated will be loaded as you view them.
>> You can control the updating system in the Internet Connectivity tab of
>> the
>> Preferences dialog.  You can use this dialog box to force an immediate
>> update or
>> to prevent update checks altogether.
>> As of this moment, there are only a few documentation files on the
>> server which
>> are newer than the versions which were installed.
>> Sincerely,
>> John Fultz
>> jfultz at
>> User Interface Group
>> Wolfram Research, Inc.

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