Privacy Policy


General Statements

BRLTTY is a screen reader for braille users. It doesn't introduce any content of its own - it just renders, in braille, whatever is on the user's screen. It's just as safe to use by anyone of any age, therefore, as the host (computer, phone, tablet, etc) itself is.

We're unaware of any law anywhere which would consider it inappropriate for a child to be using BRLTTY. In fact, we believe that blind children should be encouraged to use it because we believe that literacy, i.e. the ability to read and write, is just as important for them as speech is.

BRLTTY doesn't filter the screen's content. Any content that can be read on the screen by a sighted child is presented in braille and, therefore, is just as readable by a blind child. It's the responsibility of the developers of any given program, app, website, etc to control access to any questionable or reprehensible content that they feel the need to present. Likewise, if a parent has any concerns in this area then he/she should make use of any applicable parental controls that the host platform offers.

If the braille device has a keyboard then it can be used for typing. This necessarily means that BRLTTY is transiently aware of any information that's being typed, including sensitive information such as passwords. This information is only retained long enough for, and exclusively for the purpose of, forwarding it through to the host as typed input.

In addition to primarily being a screen reader for braille users, BRLTTY also contains support for reviewing the screen's content via speech. Unlike braille, where it's in direct control of the rendering, a third-party TTS (Text to Speech) engine is used to translate screen content into speech. We have no control over the privacy policies that apply to any of the third-party TTS engines. If a user wishes to use the speech capabilities of BRLTTY then he/she should become familiar with the privacy policy of the TTS being used.

BRLTTY is an open source project. Suppliers (manufacturers, vendours, distributors, etc) should be aware that any code in any of its drivers that's necessary for the successful and effective operation of a braille device has necessarily become public. All other information that we (BRLTTY's developers) learn or become aware of (future plans, proprietary features, etc) while in discussions with or by reading documentation provided by any supplier isn't shared with the public.

BRLTTY neither requests nor in any other way tries to obtain information about its users. Also, no information about its users, their host devices, etc that BRLTTY is either actively or passively aware of is shared with others (yes, this includes not even with us).

While BRLTTY doesn't transmit any data, it does preserve the following as local data:

If we, BRLTTY's developers, would like to have a look at debugging information in order to find the cause of a problem then we explain to the user which of BRLTTY's log categories would need to be enabled and what sensitive information would, therefore, become visible to us. It's still his/her own decision to enable the logging and to send the log to us.


BRLTTY requests the following Android permissions:

  • For inspecting the layout and content of the screen.
  • For Android to accept input via BRLTTY from your braille device's keyboard.
  • For creating a foreground notification.
  • For resetting the Android device's lock timer each time you interact with a control on your braille device.
  • For communicating with a braille device via Bluetooth (API level <= 30).
  • For connecting to an already-paried Bluetooth device (API level > 30).
  • For checking if Bluetotoh device discovery is currently active (API level > 30).
  • For listening on a TCP/IP port for BrlAPI client connection requests.
  • For reading customized data files from your Android device's primary shared/external storage area.
  • For presenting the Accessibility Actions chooser.
  • For knowing when locked storage can be accessed after a reboot.
  • For sideloading an upgrade (debug version only).
  • For getting Wi-Fi status values (for the INDICATORS command).
  • For getting the Wi-Fi SSID (for the INDICATORS command).
  • For getting cell information (for the INDICATORS command).
  • For getting the cell signal strength (for the INDICATORS command).
  • For getting the cell data network type (for the INDICATORS command).