Text Expander and Data Privacy

I regularly receive emails from Smile summarizing my snippet expansions and generally attempting to encourage me to make better use of the product. Today I received a year in review note hi lighting the most common snippets I used etc…

After reading the latest note a light went off and got me thinking about the data privacy aspects? They clearly have the ability to capture and send off to their cloud every keystroke we type. A classic man in the middle kind of situation. I avoided upgrading to the subscription version until earlier this year but now looking at the privacy aspects I’m wondering if that was a mistake.

I know this isn’t a forum which concerns itself too much with security and data privacy but thought I would throw it out there for discussion and comment.


A malicious program with Accessibility permissions can of course do damage, but I think Smile does a good job explaining how TextExpander handles and protects your keystroke data in this document:

Some highlights:

  • TextExpander never stores or sends your keystrokes anywhere. A small number is temporarily kept in memory.
  • TextExpander stores keystrokes as an encoded hash of characters, similar to the way a password is securely stored so that no one reading it knows what it is.
  • Data in motion uses TLSv1.2 encryption.
  • For TextExpander.com, snippet data encrypted at rest.
  • Only the minimum necessary personnel have access to the database. Customer support access is only allowed via an explicit user opt-in.
1 Like

Thank you for this I was not aware of the article and as you said it was informative. As I reread the “Year in Review” email they sent me one of the items they hi-lighted was my top 5 expanded snippets. I’m trying to think through how they could provide that information if they didn’t send back which snippets I was using… Probably nothing but…

Thanks again.

Oh, I’m sure they collect usage statistics and this article doesn’t preclude that. They just do it without saving or sending what you actually type. I haven’t used TextExpander in awhile, but given the account there must be transmission back and forth of your settings, etc., as well.