Is Kirby 3 communicating home?

For a slightly larger project with some sensitive customer information, financial data and other data we would like to use Kirby 3. Now we have received some questions from the customer regarding privacy, which we would like to clarify in advance, before we can use the system with a clear conscience.

We’ve always used Kirby 2 for all our projects, but with Kirby 3 and the new license management we’re a bit uncertain about these issues:

  • Are there any backdoors for the vendor to log in to an installation in any way and view the backend and data?

  • Are there any API functions in the backend that can be used to get more information about the system without having to have a user account? If so, what information?

  • Are telemetry data collected on external servers by the vendor when using the backend (panel)? If so, what is this data?

Furthermore, we also have a few questions about the licensing model:

  • If one and the same installation would like to be used over several alternative domains (separate domain per country and language), in the current case it concerns about 7 alternative domains, would you need 7 individual licenses or is one sufficient for this? If so, how can you apply multiple licenses / domains to one installation?

  • The company has an editorial office in each country, for which there should be a separate domain. These editors should be able to log into the panel via their country domain. For security reasons, the panel is blocked via a reverse proxy via one of the alternative domains of another country and restricted to specific IP ranges only. Will the backend for these domains work with one license, without any license hints?

We would very much like to use Kirby 3 for this project, because it is cut like that and could form an optimal base, but wouldn’t like to somehow manage and synchronize 7 different installations if the actual page (except the country based content) is the same.

Thank you in advance for the answers!

No, not at all. Kirby communicates with our server exactly one time to register the license. The license file is then stored locally to be verified without external communication on subsequent requests.

We may add subsequent checks to verify if the license is still valid in a future release (only if that becomes necessary), but under no circumstance will there be a backdoor to the installation.

The API can only be used with authentication. As there is no backdoor, we can’t access your site’s APIs to get any sort of information. Configurable public API access is planned for future releases (for use with frontend code in single-page apps etc.), but that will be 100 % under your control.

None (see above).

See https://getkirby.com/license#definitions:

If the same Kirby multi-language installation spans multiple domains, these domains count as the same Website.

So you only need to register one license for the whole installation.

Currently it is not possible to register a license to multiple domains at the same time (= you will get license hints for the other domains). The reason for this is that it’s not possible to automatically determine whether the exception in the license terms (see above) is met or if the domains in fact belong to different installations.

The general best practice is to have one Panel for the whole installation and to create redirection rules so that the Panel URLs of the other domains redirect to the global/centralized Panel.

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Thank you for these detailed answers! We would very much appreciate it if in future you can specify several alternative domains per installation and license in any way.

We understand that this service could possibly be abused, on the other hand, as a kind of security level, you could redirect the panel to the main domain of the license when accessed via an unknown (unlicensed) domain. That would prevent this banner and accommodate such (admittedly pointless) security policies of various projects.

Best regards

If you really need to, you can set up a custom folder setup with just the config directory different between your domains. Each domain can then have its own license file with the respective domain registered as the license domain (you can still use the same license for all domains). Please note that this may break in the future if we see any abuse by users who don’t fulfill the license terms.