#Safe2Play – Caring for privacy in an interconnected world

In the last few years, the walls of our privacy have become transparent. We are all connected and, with that, our private information has become available to any companies willing to pay for it. The sacrifice is not small, and it applies also to the mobile apps and games we all use. For example, these are the permissions required by a social networking app that millions of people have on their phones:

Apps and games commonly require more permissions than what is justifiable based on their purpose.

One of the core principles of Keera is that we care about users. We care about their privacy, we care about their experience. We won’t place any ads or ad trackers that monitor your activity in our apps. We are not going to give you five levels for free and sell you levels and upgrades. And above all, we are not going to try to sell your kids $2000 worth of in-game assets while hoping you as a parent never realize, or it’s too late when you do.

We want you to be safe. We want your kids to be safe. And we want everyone to feel safe.

If you had Magic Cookies installed on your phone (if you don’t, we totally recommend you do! :) ), you may have noticed a change in one of the last upgrades. No permissions are required anymore. No access to private files. No internet. No name or phone number. Nothing. The game used to require access to the SD card and the vibrator, only because the system we used to create games needed those options. With the new update, no permissions are needed.

Magic Cookies is a requires no permissions to run that rq
Sreenshot of Magic Cookies on the store, with the popup that shows that no special permissions are needed. You can find the option to show the permissions needed by an app at the bottom in the application page.

We are immensely proud of that. It is not an arbitrary decision. It’s part of what makes us different. It’s also how we put our money where our mouths are. In the short term, it makes our lives much harder: if we knew how you are playing, we could optimize the game, sell more units, and be more profitable. But we think this decision makes us all better. We think it makes your experience better, and it makes you safer. And that’s what matters. And we hope that, sooner or later, people will notice, and appreciate it.

Today, we are inviting users and game developers alike to join our movement, which we want to call Safe to Play. The principles to implement Safe to Play are simple and intuitive. For example, permissions should never be required if not absolutely needed for the gameplay. Any permissions required must be explained before users install apps. The total price is fully disclosed up-front. Games do not have ads at all, no tracking features are included, and user data does not leave the phone unless strictly required for the gameplay. The app does not do anything in the background that does not truly serve the user.

Safe to Play is more than just 3 words. It’s an idea, and the spirit behind it. It’s a desire to keep you safe. To return to a simpler model: We make the game, you pay to download it, you can play it. End of transaction.

We invite all game developers to implement this model, and to share with us and with others how you do that for your particular game. And when you do, that you wear the badge with pride.

We hope, in an era in which everything and everybody is connected and continuously monitored, we can provide a safe haven for your and for your loved ones. One in which you know the games you give your kids, your parents, or just those games you trust to install on your phone, are Safe to Play.

Have fun, and be safe!