How YouVersion Manages Your Permissions, Data, and Privacy

YouVersion team member working on computer

Who we are. YouVersion is a digital ministry of Life.Church, a multi-site church based in Oklahoma that meets in multiple locations across the United States and globally at Church Online. We are Christ followers who create biblically centered, culturally relevant experiences to help other people grow closer to God.

Why we do what we do. For us, this work is personal. Our lives have been changed by God’s Word, and we want to share it with others. While still in college, our Senior Pastor, Craig Groeschel, read Ephesians 2:8 for the first time after being given a free Bible. Reading this verse led Craig to experience God’s love and forgiveness for the first time—changing the trajectory of his life.

Later, in 2006, our team at Life.Church realized that it was a struggle for us to read the Bible consistently. Our Innovation Leader, Bobby Gruenewald, wondered if there was a way technology could help. As a result, the idea for YouVersion was born.

YouVersion team member working on computer

We introduced (later becoming in 2007 as a website designed to help people engage more with the Bible. In 2008, we adapted the website for mobile devices, then developed it as the Bible App, one of the first 200 free apps available in Apple’s iPhone App Store when it launched that July. Today, YouVersion remains a relatively small team of software developers, systems engineers, designers, data analysts, marketers, copywriters, managers, and support staff. Many of us left corporate careers to pursue our passion of leading people to become fully devoted to Christ.

YouVersion team member working on computer

Who works with us. We couldn’t do this work alone. We partner with Bible societies and Bible publishers, with content producers from other ministries, and with a global network of passionate volunteers. All of us are united in a single vision: to help people pursue intimacy with God.

How we’re funded. Our work is supported financially by Life.Church, as well as by donations from our worldwide YouVersion Community. YouVersion is not a business; we have never had plans to monetize our app, nor to sell data or ads, nor will we. YouVersion, and the organizations we partner with, make our app and content available for free because we are a ministry whose sole mission is to help people draw closer to God.

We Respect Your Privacy

We value, respect, and protect the privacy of every person in the YouVersion Community. In order to enable the full set of features that YouVersion offers, you can choose to offer access to certain permissions in the app settings for your particular platform.

The Bible App is more than just a reading tool. Every feature in the Bible App is designed to help people grow in their relationship with God, within a trusted community. That’s why we have features like Verse Images, Plans, and Events—to help people seek God every day. To enable some of these functions, certain permissions are required:

Connect and Disconnect from Wi-Fi

The Bible App checks WIFI_STATE to see whether a device is connected to a cellular network (such as 2G or 3G) or to a wireless network (Wi-Fi). If the device is connected to a cellular network, the Bible App sends only low-resolution images, to minimize the amount of data used. But, if the device is connected to Wi-Fi, the Bible App sends high-resolution images, to create the best experience possible. (You can adjust these settings under More, Settings, Download Image.) The Bible App also checks Wi-Fi permissions when you want to watch video on another device using “casting” (such as Chromecast). This information is not stored or shared by YouVersion.

Modify Content Stored on Device

By default, every Bible version that YouVersion offers resides on our servers, with content sent to your device only when you request it (such as by selecting a different Bible version, or by tapping to see the next chapter). This means that, by default, you can only access Bibles when you have an internet connection (through Wi-Fi or on a cellular network). Thanks to special agreements with our partners—and by enabling this permission—you can choose to download certain individual Bible versions to your device, so that they are always available to you, even offline. (To see available Bible versions, tap the abbreviation code at the top of the reader, i.e., NIV, ESV, KJV, etc.)

Device Location

Although your device’s operating system refers to this permission as “track device location,” the Bible App does not actively track your device’s location. With this permission, the Bible App’s Events feature allows you to see if any live Events are taking place near you (such as local church services). This location-based feature is entirely optional, and is activated only when you specifically select the Events discovery feature (by tapping More, Events). Location information is stored for approximately seven days for troubleshooting purposes, but is never stored in our database in association with your account. Once your session ends, we will cease to receive information related to your location unless you access the Events feature again.

Access Contacts

The Bible App allows you to share the app with friends and invite others to join you in the app, only requesting access to your Contacts when you initiate one one of these actions. Granting the Bible App access to your Contacts is completely optional, and the Bible App never sends, shares, or transmits anything on your behalf without your specific consent.

We Value Your Safety

Scripture is filled with examples of people walking out their faith in the context of community. With the Friends feature, we’ve put extensive measures in place to make the Bible App a safe space where you can explore your questions, surround yourself with people you trust, and enjoy conversations centered around God’s Word.

When you ask someone to be your friend in the Bible App, they must accept your request before you can connect. And when someone invites you to be their friend, use your own best judgment about whether to accept. If you choose to reject a friend request or remove someone as a friend, they will not be notified. You are the owner of your Bible App friendships: if someone posts something inappropriate, you can report and/or block them using those tools inside the app anytime you want.

Still Have Questions?

You can find more information in our Privacy Policy and in our Terms of Use.