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Google Analytics now on forums.FreeBSD.org

Google Analytics, leave it on or turn it off? (read entire thread before posting, please)

  • Leave Google Analytics On

    Votes: 6 16.2%
  • Turn Google Analytics Off

    Votes: 21 56.8%
  • See if I care

    Votes: 10 27.0%

  • Total voters
    37
  • Poll closed .

drhowarddrfine

Daemon

Thanks: 639
Messages: 2,393

#27
An in-house solution may work, depending on what data they want to get, but they won't get as much potential quality information like age, gender, how they got here, what they were searching for, and the like.

But the technique is mostly the same as what Google and Bing do.
 

freethread

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 31
Messages: 359

#28
Is that a contradiction?
ahahah, no. I will never use Google, Bing or whatever analytics data (ads) without paycheck and I do not want they track me (or at least I try to take actions against this), however I know many companies need those data, they have to know how many monkeys browse their pages, from what other website they come from, what they are looking for, etc., etc.. I don't really care if Google analytics are activated or not on this web site, I have already took actions against this.

In all browsers I use (no matter if firefox, IE, or whatever [I only use those two, anyways]), selectively activate cookies, so being here, on thoses forums, the cookies for this website are activated, the 'The FreeBSD Foundation' can track me with it's own cookies, I'm aware and agree. They know what threads I read and all the moves I make on those boards, I'm aware and agree. They can also ban me, perhaps, one day, I'm aware and agree.
 

drhowarddrfine

Daemon

Thanks: 639
Messages: 2,393

#29
freethread Well, I haven't looked into this for a while but I'm pretty sure GA doesn't use cookies. There's an ID number and a little javascript that measures what it does and sends that to Google in an ajax call and it's done.
 

freethread

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 31
Messages: 359

#32
freethread Well, I haven't looked into this for a while but I'm pretty sure GA doesn't use cookies. There's an ID number and a little javascript that measures what it does and sends that to Google in an ajax call and it's done.
Yes, I know, the use of cookies is only a tracking example, however you understood me, perhaps you don't agree with me, but I'm sure you understood.
 

Terry_Kennedy

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 253
Messages: 874

#34
IMHO, the main issue is that the forums have given Google permission to have visitors' browsers download and execute a 24KB JavaScript program from Google's servers. What data Google provides to the FreeBSD Project in exchange for that permission isn't really material to the discussion. Without inspecting each JavaScript download (remember, since it is Google serving it, not the forums, Google can provide whatever code they like, vary it over time or continuously, etc.) And there's no way for the forum to verify this, since they don't see the transaction. It might be interesting to create a browser plugin that reports (for example) a checksum of the downloaded .js file to a central repository, and if it did not match any known version, send the whole thing there as well. But that isn't really relevant here. Google's motto used to be "Don't be Evil". Then they added "or, just don't get caught". Now they seem to do whatever they please.

That raises 2 points:

1) Do you trust Google to use your data responsibly, and only for the purposes listed?
2) Do you trust Google to have better security than Ashley Madison? The Office of Personnel Management? The NSA?

If the answer to either of those is "no", you try to have as little to do with Google as possible.

I use a combination of www/awstats and local tools on my web servers to provide me with statistics. Webmasters tempted by things like Google Analytics might want to see if they can collect the data they need from their own servers before outsourcing (or is that "out-giving"?) that function to a 3rd party.
 

drhowarddrfine

Daemon

Thanks: 639
Messages: 2,393

#35
I use a combination of www/awstats and local tools on my web servers to provide me with statistics.
So you track your visitors?!!!!! And how do we know awstats isn't secretly sending that data directly to the NSA?!!!!! And did you read, yesterday, MI6 does the same thing as the NSA?!!!!!

More importantly, are you sending that data to the NSA?!!!
 

Terry_Kennedy

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 253
Messages: 874

#36
So you track your visitors?!!!!! And how do we know awstats isn't secretly sending that data directly to the NSA?!!!!!
Because I downloaded it and installed it on my web server. It doesn't add chunks of code to be run in the context of visitor's browsers. It just looks at web server log files. The source is provided for anyone to look at (although, look how much that did for OpenSSL).

More importantly, are you sending that data to the NSA?!!!
I'm not. Neither is my ISP, I can say that with certainty because I am my ISP. What happens when something hits our couple hundred peers or dozen or so transit connections is out of my hands, but since the statistics are only viewable locally, that isn't relevant here.
 

drhowarddrfine

Daemon

Thanks: 639
Messages: 2,393

#37
You say that but how do we know? And did you analyze awstats code thoroughly? Do you trust them more than you trust Google or the NSA or yourself?!!!
 

OJ

Daemon

Thanks: 236
Messages: 1,017

#38
You say that but how do we know?
That's the premise that one works on these days and that's why security policies generally take matters into their own hands instead of working on trust. However, this forum is another matter. To many of us trust isn't the issue here. To me, this thread is not about whether or not we want to be subjected to Google Analytics. I can, and will, look after that myself. What matters is what makes good ethical policy for running this particular site. I'm not answering that in this case, but simply want to clarify that I can opt in or out on my own and the question is what should the forum do.
 

Beastie7

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 88
Messages: 283

#39
With as much clout Mozilla has, why don't they cook up their own search engine. They'll lose their contract but with a little marketing I'm sure people will flock, right? lol
 

drhowarddrfine

Daemon

Thanks: 639
Messages: 2,393

#40
I think no one has caught onto my making fun of the tin-hat wearers. There's a boogie man around every corner, question everything, trust no one, it's all evil. It's why I make fun of redditors on a daily basis. HN has gotten just as bad. Maybe worse for those of us who work with this stuff on a daily basis. It's all a bunch of parroting each other over something they read on the internet (so it must be true).
 

OJ

Daemon

Thanks: 236
Messages: 1,017

#41
I think no one has caught onto my making fun of the tin-hat wearers.
It couldn't have been more obvious actually. It's fine, and I appreciate it. :)

It's all a bunch of parroting each other over something they read on the internet (so it must be true).
Indeed.

Nevertheless, with all due respect, I think you missed the point of what was going on here. As I wrote a couple back, it's not a matter of the tin-hattism, but about what is good policy for a forum such as this one.
 

drhowarddrfine

Daemon

Thanks: 639
Messages: 2,393

#42
As I wrote a couple back, it's not a matter of the tin-hattism, but about what is good policy for a forum such as this one.
Oh, well, then the answer is to turn it on. Without question there are only benefits and no downsides.
 

Dies_Irae

Active Member

Thanks: 58
Messages: 137

#43
I am quite paranoid regarding security and privacy, but I have never seen Google Analytics a such great "threat".
Can we be more specific about what informations this script can retreive? Personally, I don't think that collecting informations is a threat to my/our privacy a priori. We must determine the kind of informations collected.

I have found this but I don't know if it's a complete reference.

Which of these informations can be considered dangerous to the user's privacy? (Please, don't tell me that my screen resolution is a sensitive information. I can even tell you the serial number of my video card and still sleep peacefully).
 

gkontos

Daemon

Thanks: 437
Messages: 2,069

#44
I am quite paranoid regarding security and privacy, but I have never seen Google Analytics a such great "threat".
Can we be more specific about what informations this script can retreive? Personally, I don't think that collecting informations is a threat to my/our privacy a priori. We must determine the kind of informations collected.
It is very simple actually. Google creates your full consumer profile so that they can display ads that are more relevant to your shopping preferences. The problem is that google has invaded into a very large majority of products and services. Payments, storage, computing, mobile phones, home entertainment, maps, satellites, etc. the list can go on and on. That gives them extreme power to use all the information that they collect.
Somebody mentioned the NSA before. I think that google can track you easier than them.
 

drhowarddrfine

Daemon

Thanks: 639
Messages: 2,393

#45
It is very simple actually. Google creates your full consumer profile so that they can display ads that are more relevant to your shopping preferences.
You are threatened by this? Ever advertising agency in the world does the same thing.

gkontos said:
The problem is that google has invaded into a very large majority of products and services. Payments, storage, computing, mobile phones, home entertainment, maps, satellites, etc. the list can go on and on.
So has Microsoft, Apple, Netflix and Amazon. Are you equally threatened by them?
gkontos said:
That gives them extreme power to use all the information that they collect.
Every company you ever do business with also has this extreme power to use all the information they collect from you, too.
 

Dies_Irae

Active Member

Thanks: 58
Messages: 137

#46
so that they can display ads that are more relevant to your shopping preferences.
Thanks, you have confirmed what I already thought. Now I don't want to play devil's advocate, but I don't see anything bad/dangerous in that. Frankly, spam messages in my mailbox are several orders of magnitude more annoying than ads.

Somebody mentioned the NSA before.
Oh, well, if somebody at NSA waste his time tracking my steps, his life must be very shabby. :D
 

protocelt

Daemon

Thanks: 405
Messages: 1,257

#47
Every company you ever do business with also has this extreme power to use all the information they collect from you, too.
Which is why I have most ad networks blocked at the domain level and use browser addons for whitelisting what I choose to allow on the websites I choose.

Whether this prevents websites from using Google Analytics to better the site or target me better is not of my concern. If I want to buy something, I'm more than capable of doing my own homework on the products and services I'm looking for. I don't need Google's help for that nor do I want it.
 

drhowarddrfine

Daemon

Thanks: 639
Messages: 2,393

#48
Which is why I have most ad networks blocked at the domain level and use browser addons for whitelisting what I choose to allow on the websites I choose.
Well, your issue is not with Google but with advertising and advertisers. EVERY company that sells anything tracks you in some way, shape or form.
 

drhowarddrfine

Daemon

Thanks: 639
Messages: 2,393

#49
Here's an example of what I said earlier.

One of the small theatre companies I work with sells tickets to their events online through a third-party. If you buy tickets online, and half do, you need to enter your name/address/etc. if you want them mailed, and almost as much info if you are picking them up. That information is collected by the ticketing agency which then sells that info to marketing agencies. Those marketing agencies analyze all that and, wouldn't you know it, you're getting snail mail ads or email ads for other theatre companies, books, Starbucks, etc. None of that was due to anything Google did but it's no different than what Google does (and Microsoft and Apple and Macy's, and ...).
 

gkontos

Daemon

Thanks: 437
Messages: 2,069

#50
You are threatened by this? Ever advertising agency in the world does the same thing.
Are you serious? You compare google that has full access to what I am typing now, with other advertising companies? Don't you see the difference here?
So has Microsoft, Apple, Netflix and Amazon. Are you equally threatened by them?
They wish but they don't even come near...
Every company you ever do business with also has this extreme power to use all the information they collect from you, too.
Yes and here is where you miss the point. Google has the power to collect more information regarding my profile, my preferences, my favorite books, cars, computers, health, financial, etc than any other company in the world.

You might think that this is ok, obviously we disagree.