I’ve been meaning to do this for some time but I was recently inspired by a few privacy and product-centric issues and finally, over the weekend, I had some time to process my own thoughts a bit more around data, privacy, and tracking.
More specifically, I wanted to start with personal properties and sites that I manage, chiefly this blog and my vlog.
Long-story very, very short, I’ve decided to remove
Google Analytics from both of them.
It doesn’t really matter to me that I’m blowing away almost a decade’s worth of data on my readers – I just don’t feel good about it anymore.
You and I are being tracked constantly. In fact, we are being tracked more than we even dare to consider or think about; it’s honestly a bit scary.
And I don’t want to contribute to that anymore – I don’t want to be tracked and I don’t want to track anyone, especially because I never actually use the data in any meaningful way!
In fact, I can’t remember the last time I actually took the time to review the data and then make content and/or design decisions based on that data! This means that I’ve been collecting data for Google’s sake, not even for my own use or for the benefit of my readers and subscribers!
So, I’ve removed them entirely and I’m working to figure out an alternative to WordPress and their tracking and statistics package via their
Jetpack Plugin which would be nice because it would mean that I don’t have any tracking at all.
You can see (via Brave Browser) that it’s the only thing that’s coming up at the moment:
Not only will this make the site faster, a decent upside for my readers, but removing all trackers will give me that important peace-of-mind knowing that my community’s data and privacy is secure and managed with intentional care.
It’s worth mentioning that I’m not against tracking on-the-whole as that type of technology, when used appropriately, can provide very real and tangible value for web applications and software products. But, unless you actually have a true, functional, and non-invasive reason, I think you should avoid them.
For those curious, I was using Monster Insight’s plugin to simplify the capture of data for Google Analytics. It’s been a great system and definitely something useful if you change the look-and-feel of your blog often.