You may have noticed a fairly extreme warning on Google's Chrome Web Store when you installed Balu. It goes something like this: "Balu can read and change all your data on the websites you visit".
This is true. Let's explain why Baly needs such extensive permissions...
The basic function of Balu is to search the website you're on for matching products and, if found, provide alternative recommendations. That means the app needs to be able to read the text of your webpage.
Balu only searches "active" websites (you can see the active websites on your options screen). That means, for every other website, Balu is doing nothing. It checks to see if the URL you've just navigated to matches one of its active websites and, if it does not, it immediately goes back to sleep. It doesn't log anything, it doesn't search the page. Nothing.
And Balu does not operate at all in incognito mode unless you tell it to.
These "active" websites are the retail websites that we've configured Balu to work on, and you can see them on your Balu options screen (right click on the Balu icon and click "options"). We'll be adding to this list all the time, so keep checking back, but we will only ever add sensible retail websites. We will NOT add a generic search engine (like Google) without asking you first.
We want to send a message to corporations that ethical business pays off. To do this, Balu needs to gather as much data as possible - without infringing your anonymity. To do this, Balu tracks the following:
Information about who is shopping for what is always logged anonymously.
Our code is open source
We have created Balu to help make the world a better place. We have no interest in your personal shopping habits, only in the aggregated shopping habits of the entire Balu user community.
If you want to stop using your account you can simply stop using it. If you would like all your personal data to be deleted, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to do it for you.