Update - 12/15/09 - Upload of Contacts is now optional in v1.1. "What's new in Version 1.1.0 - Contact name upload now optional. Ability to delete previously uploaded contact names from server" Both big additions. However I still would like to see them either instantly delete or give the option to delete past recordings and transcripts. Again nice step forward just need a little more before I would use. But that is just me.
I have seen a few blog posts on a new App that does Voice to Text dictation on the iPhone, is supposed to work great and is free. I even had a few people call / email in with reviews. I thought wow what a great App I need to get this. The App in question is Dragon Dictation from Nuance Communictions - Link to App store Page
After installing, the first time I launched the App I was greated with the mother of all End User License Agreements (EULA) - at least as far as iPhone Apps go. At the bottom of the screen was a very big green button - which in my opinion is way to easy to accidently hit - so I copied over the information to make it easier for me and you to review before agreeing to the EULA.
The section that will be the most concern to users and those in their contact list is section 3.3 - which states:
"As part of the Service, Nuance collects and uses: (1) the names of individuals and companies that appear in your address book in order to improve the quality of the Service when you speak a contact name in using the Service"
That by itself for many is game over. Do you really want to give up your friends and business associates for a free app? However later in that section they follow on with:
...such information shall only be used by Nuance or third parties acting under the direction of Nuance pursuant to confidentiality agreements as identified above. Nuance will not: (a) use the names of individuals and companies that appear in your address book to contact anyone for any reason, or (b) use the information elements in of any Speech Data for any purposes except as set forth above.
Which does sound better when that is added in. Howerver the next line is what was the deal breaker for me:
Any and all information that you provide will remain confidential and may also be disclosed by Nuance to your wireless carrier, if so requested, or to meet legal or regulatory requirements, such as under a court order or to a government institution if required or authorized by law...“Speech Data” means the audio files, associated transcriptions and log files provided by you hereunder or generated in connection with the Service.
Sorry game over - I don't care how good the service is - I just can't justify giving up my contact information for a free iPhone App no matter how good it is. When you go to the iTunes page for the App the reviews are split between 1 star for those parnoid consipiracy theorists like myself and 5 stars by those that live in a happy pretty butterfly world with shiny unicorns and don't care about privacy issues and are just looking for a good - free - dictation app.
Hopefully Nuance will change their EULA and remove the requirement to upload contacts and will also immediately delete all recordings after transcription and delete the transcriptions as well. When that happens I will gladly try out the app. Might even be willing to pay for it. But right now my friends can sleep easy knowing I did not sell them out for a free iPhone App.
Here is the End user Agreement for Dragon Dictation so you can decide for yourself before downloading:
THIS IS A LEGAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN YOU (THE INDIVIDUAL OR THE ENTITY USING THE DRAGON DICTATION SOFTWARE AND SERVICE) AND NUANCE COMMUNICATIONS INC., ("NUANCE"). PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING TERMS CAREFULLY.
YOU MUST AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS DRAGON DICTATION END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT (“AGREEMENT”) IN ORDER TO INSTALL AND USE THE SOFTWARE WITH THE DRAGON DICTATION SERVICE. BY CLICKING ON THE “ACCEPT” BUTTON, OR BY USING THE SOFTWARE, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT. YOU MAY NOT INSTALL OR USE THE SOFTWARE OR THE NUANCE SERVICE IN ANY WAY UNLESS YOU HAVE ACCEPTED THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS.
Dragon Dictation is a client/server application, currently available only in the United States, that permits users of devices to control certain operations of such devices via spoken commands, including, but not limited to, the ability to at least create text and email messages . The following general terms and conditions govern your use of the Dragon dictation applications (“Service”) and permit you to download, install and use the client software (“Software”) and accompanying documentation provided by Nuance for accessing the Service.
1. LICENSE GRANT. Nuance grants you (the "Licensee"), a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, revocable limited license, in object code form only, to install and use the Software on a single Device to access the Service only in the United States. A “Device” is any authorized Apple® iPhone®. You acknowledge and agree that the Software will use your wireless network to send and receive data, and that your mobile operator may bill you airtime, data and/or usage fees.
2. LICENSEE OBLIGATIONS.
2.1 RESTRICTIONS. You may not: (a) submit any automated or recorded queries to the Service unless otherwise approved in writing by Nuance; (b) use the Service for commercial use; (c) access the Service with software or means other than the Software; (d) copy, reproduce, distribute, or in any other manner duplicate the Software, in whole or in part; (e) sell, lease, license, sublicense, distribute, assign, transfer or otherwise grant any rights in the Software, in whole or in part; (f) modify, port, translate, or create derivative works of the Software; (g) decompile, disassemble, reverse engineer or otherwise attempt to derive, reconstruct, identify or discover any source code, underlying ideas, or algorithms, of the Software or the Service by any means; (h) remove any proprietary notices, labels or marks from the Software; or (i) use the Service for purposes of comparison with or benchmarking against products or services made available by third parties.
3. PROPRIETARY RIGHTS.
3.1 SOFTWARE AND SERVICE. Nuance and its licensors own all right, title, and interest in the Software and Service including, but not limited to, all patent, copyright, trade secret, trademark and other intellectual property rights associated therewith, and title to all such rights shall remain solely in Nuance and/or its licensors. Unauthorized copying of the Software or Service, or failure to comply with the above restrictions, will result in automatic termination of this Agreement and all licenses granted hereunder, and will make available to Nuance all legal and equitable remedies for breach thereof.
3.2 THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE. The Software and Services contain a copy of the Speex codec in executable form. You acknowledge that use of the Speex codec is subject to the conditions and disclaimers listed in revised BSD license found athttp://www.xiph.org/licenses/bsd/speex/. © 2002-2003, Jean-Marc Valin/Xiph.Org Foundation.
3.3. NAMES AND SPEECH DATA. As part of the Service, Nuance collects and uses: (1) the names of individuals and companies that appear in your address book in order to improve the quality of the Service when you speak a contact name in using the Service, and (2) Speech Data, as defined below, to tune, enhance and improve the speech recognition and other components of the Service, and other Nuance services and products. You acknowledge and agree that Nuance may collect the names of individuals and companies that appear in your address book and the Speech Data as part of the Service and that such information shall only be used by Nuance or third parties acting under the direction of Nuance pursuant to confidentiality agreements as identified above. Nuance will not: (a) use the names of individuals and companies that appear in your address book to contact anyone for any reason, or (b) use the information elements in of any Speech Data for any purposes except as set forth above. Any and all information that you provide will remain confidential and may also be disclosed by Nuance to your wireless carrier, if so requested, or to meet legal or regulatory requirements, such as under a court order or to a government institution if required or authorized by law, or in the event of a sale, merger or acquisition of Nuance by another entity. “Speech Data” means the audio files, associated transcriptions and log files provided by you hereunder or generated in connection with the Service.
4. SUPPORT. To facilitate the process of evaluating and testing the Service and Software, Licensee may refer to Nuance frequently asked questions at: http://www.dragonmobileapps.com. For additional support, Licensee may request such support via the foregoing website, and upon Nuance personnel availability, Nuance may provide reasonable support services through fax, email or other means to Licensee with regards to defect and/or clarification of functions and features of the Software and Service. Nuance Support is available during Nuance’s normal business hours, Mondays through Fridays, 8:00a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST (excluding legal and company holidays).
5. DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT NUANCE IS PROVIDING THE SOFTWARE AND SERVICE TO YOU SOLELY TO PERMIT YOU TO EVALUATE AND USE THE SOFTWARE AND SERVICE. CONSEQUENTLY, YOU AGREE TO TAKE ALL PRECAUTIONS AND SAFEGUARDS NECESSARY TO PROTECT YOUR DATA AND SYSTEMS FROM LOSS OR DAMAGE. NUANCE PROVIDES THE SOFTWARE AND SERVICE “AS IS,” WITH ALL FAULTS, AND WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, NUANCE SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT.
6. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, IN NO EVENT WILL NUANCE, ITS OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, AND EMPLOYEES, OR ITS LICENSORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF PROFITS, LOSS OF DATA, LOSS OF USE, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, OR COST OF COVER, ARISING FROM THE USE OF THE SOFTWARE OR SERVICE, HOWEVER CAUSED, UNDER ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES IN ADVANCE.
7. TERM; TERMINATION. This Agreement begins on the earlier of your acceptance of the terms and conditions of this Agreement or once you download the Software and expires upon termination. Nuance may terminate this Agreement, and the license granted hereunder, at any time in its sole discretion, with or without cause, by notifying you that the service has expired or has been terminated. This Agreement shall terminate automatically upon the breach of any of its terms and conditions by you. Upon termination, you shall immediately stop use of and shall delete all copies of the Software.
8. EXPORT COMPLIANCE. You represent and warrant that (i) you are not located in a country that is subject to a U.S. Government embargo, or that has been designated by the U.S. Government as a “terrorist supporting” country; and (ii) you are not listed on any U.S. Government list of prohibited or restricted parties.
9. U.S. GOVERNMENT END USERS. The Software is a "commercial item," as that term is defined in 48 C.F.R. 2.101, consisting of "commercial computer software" and "commercial computer software documentation," as such terms are used in 48 C.F.R. 12.212. Consistent with 48 C.F.R. 12.212 and 48 C.F.R. 227.7202-1 through 227.7202-4, all U.S. Government end users acquire the Software with only those rights set forth herein.
10. TRADEMARKS. Third-party trademarks, trade names, product names and logos (the "Trademarks") contained in or used by the Software or Service are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners, and the use of such Trademarks shall inure to the benefit of the trademark owner. The use of such Trademarks is intended to denote interoperability and does not constitute: (i) an affiliation by Nuance with such company, or (ii) an endorsement or approval of such company of Nuance and its products or services.
11. GENERAL LEGAL TERMS. This agreement shall be governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States of America, without regard to its conflicts of laws principles, and you hereby submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal and state courts in said Commonwealth in connection with any dispute arising out of this Agreement. This Agreement shall not be governed by the United Nations Convention of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, the application of which is hereby expressly excluded. This Agreement is the entire agreement between Nuance and you and supersedes any other communications or advertising with respect to the Software. If any provision of this Agreement is held invalid or unenforceable, such provision shall be revised to the extent necessary to cure the invalidity or unenforceability, and the remainder of this Agreement shall continue in full force and effect. The failure of Nuance to exercise or enforce any right or provision of this Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. Sections 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 10 of this Agreement shall survive the expiration or termination of this Agreement.