That's a false statement. Google does not read your keystrokes in the realm of Analytics and does not have full access to your computer. I don't have a clue why you would think that or where you read that. If it was reddit, then I would understand. Avoid reddit at all cost.
They do the exact same stuff Google does so what's the diff?
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 think? You think when you buy something, no other company has access to your information? Do you really think that car dealer doesn't tell GM you bought a new car? And what does GM do with that info? Insert any other company name into those previous sentences including the little dinky company I mentioned in my previous post. Why, all of a sudden, are you getting car insurance info in the mail?
Without question? Personally I think it is a good idea to question things, look into potential ramifications, and generally analyse a situation. If you don't feel that way then that's fine, but by religiously insisting on your opinion of "without question" then I would question why you are participating in the discussion.
You said earlier that you are making fun of the tin-hat wearers. However, people that ask questions are not necessarily tin-hatters. They may just be intelligent people who like to consider different angles to a situation. I can accept that to you the idea of profiling, and connecting profiles, by third party organizations is not a bad thing. I'd be more interested in your thoughts on that than I am in you making fun of others because you somehow believe that they think they're threatened by something.
I don't think that gkontos (above) feels threatened, or is a tin-hatter. How about responding to his statements and then tying that into some kind of philosophy that could form a basis for policy for a forum such as this?
Edit: I didn't realize that we'd gone over the page, so I'm referring to gkontos' earlier post.
True, but can we say that these kind of informations are "dangerous" to the user's privacy? For example, if Google knows that I like old b/w horror movies and suggests me to buy a remastered version of Bela Lugosi's Frankenstein, I see this as a "courtesy", not a threat. I am not obliged to do anything, I can just ignore it if I'm not interested. Moreover, these ads are relative to the "context", so I don't see the movie ads while I'm visiting a site that sells shoes.
However, and now I may seem incoherent but I'm not, I usually filter all kind of ads simply because, as protocelt said:
I don't really understand the problem here. Well, actually I do understand because I also don't trust Google one bit. And I'm also very weary of Google Analytics. It makes it a lot easier for any webmaster to get quick statistics but the price is paid by the website visitors. Because every time you visit a website which uses this stuff you're basically sending all this info to Google. Which can now effectively track which ("Google Analytics enabled") websites you visited, and use that information.
So although I'd also rather see websites not using this (intrusive) stuff I'm also a little indifferent because these sites won't be seeing my visits anymore.
How? I think that here lies the thin difference between "be safe" and "be paranoid".
Let's suppose that I know what sites you have visited today, one after another. Having this information, what harmful actions towards you can be made? Before going here I checked the weather forecasts, and Google knows that. Should I be worried about the fact that Google have this information?
If we are talking about marketing ads, all I have to do is use them if they are useful, ignore them if I'm not interested or filter them if I'm able to do so. What other motivations has Google to track my habits? Social Engeneering? For what purpose, to stole my GMail account password? To empty my bank account?
More realistically, Google is making money selling my (useless) data to someone who is so stupid little clever to pay money just to know that this morning I checked the weather forecasts.
In this case I'm ready to sell my info to them directly...
Google Analytics is a tool that serves Targeted Advertising. A tool is a tool is a fool -- whether a tool is good or bad depends solely on whether it serves the purpose or not. For me, the real question is whether the purpose, namely Targeting, is good or evil.
Targeting, let's see:
Targeted Advertising -- granted, wait a moment, really?
Targeted Manipulation -- perfect, no need for the media in Media Manipulation anymore, saves time and money.
Targeted Campaign -- perhaps Larry Page would actually be the better President than Donald Trump.
Targeted Riots -- riots are for *iots.
Targeted Progroms -- ***** go home.
Targeted Wars -- ***** go to hell.
Who draws the red line, Google? At any rate, Targeting defeats the Age of Reason, it replaces reason by choice and turns citizens into tools, i.e. fools. Google Analytics is not the battle to fight. Reasonable citizens are aware of Targeting and act accordingly.
I think the core problem is different than "be safe" and "be paranoid". It has nothing to do with it, at least in my vision. It's more sneaky and I will try to explain it with an example.
I'm very, very (but very, you don't know how much very) disappointed about search engines, all of them not only Google. For example I'm looking for the use of an API or informations about a specific technology, say 'Getting Reparse Points informations on NTFS file or directory'. If I have cookies disabled for the search engine in use, I'll give unuseful results, because I'm italian and the search engine 'think' that the informations must be retrieved in Italy, so in Italy it found nothing about 'Reparse Points' and 'NTFS', unless those words are strictly related with gossip, shopping or some other sort of that sh!t. I have to enable cookies for the search engine and change the country from Italy to US. I do not want to use a search engine that 'think' what I need, I want a search engine that 'search' what I need.
Many people think this behaviour is not related to 'Analysis', 'Syndication' and 'Advertisement' but this is the direct side effect of this. So the best thing all that advertisement company should ask you the first time you use them is 'Are you a uman or a chiken (or monkey)?' or more simply 'Have you a brain or want I use the search engine brain?'
Well, I'm tired of this. I've been through this on other boards, years ago. I'm betting no more than one or two of the responders, here, use GA or know much about it beyond posts on forums or what it outputs and I always find it's too much knee-jerk reaction to, "Tracking! What?!!" than reality.
Wrong. Google knows that you access information related to b&w horror movies, it has no idea what you like. By accessing more of that information, it strengthens that link and serves you more information about old b&w horror movies, which you access... Maybe you would prefer fluffy kitten videos, but you never get to see any because you clearly like old b&w horror movies (without kittens).
And on-topic, I have no preference regarding GA on the forum. It is blackholed on my systems, anyway. But I would not mind it too much, the forum is not trying to sell me some things I don't need and it would be a single point of data in my case becasue I avoid this tracking where I can and see fit.
Anyway, thanks for voting, and thanks for your thoughts. I see no real pressing reason to continue to use GA, though it served its purpose when investigating the functionality of the forums in light of some design decisions that needed to be made. Other than that, I hardly ever look at the GA Dashboard nowadays and certainly have no direct instrumental use for it. GA will be turned off today.