Allow users to opt out of analytics / tracky stuff


#1

NewsBlur is a major part of my day-to-day interaction with the network.  Everywhere else that I have a choice, I consciously block adtech, surveillanceware, third-party analytics, etc. I’ve got Privacy Badger, uBlock, and lately even NoScript installed.

My browser probably isn’t letting a lot of the client-side surveillanceware through, but I’d feel better about NewsBlur if it weren’t even trying.

(Another way to phrase this might be to ask that NewsBlur respect Do Not Track - my client is definitely sending the DNT header.  But I’m well aware that DNT is pretty much a dead letter at this point.)


#2

Interesting idea but isn’t this kind of moot since people who want to opt out of analytics do so already? I use Ghostery and I get to opt out of trackers on my own terms, not the website’s.


#3

Sorry I didn’t manage to respond to this earlier - just realized the Discourse forum thing was happening.

I guess my pesonal take is that I want web software in general to be less hostile to my interests, and at this point I don’t think we have any realistic choice but to view Google, Facebook, Twitter, et al. as adversaries.

I run anti-adtech extensions, and I’m a developer with web experience, so I pretty much know how to access stuff that breaks when using all this software to protect me from the other software I’m using. So for the moment, I’m equipped to make some choices about opting out. Most users of the web aren’t, and it’s hard for me to think of a reason that only specialists should be equipped to make basic choices about who collects and exploits their data.

I’m not going to stop using NewsBlur just now. It’s good software with a bunch of features I like, and I really want feedreaders to be part of the web ecosystem, so to that end I’ll probably keep paying for it regardless of whether I’m actively using it. But every time I load it up and notice those little counters on PB / uBlock / NoScript, I think a little harder about whether I ought to migrate to some self-hosted solution for actual use.

(Thanks for your time, by the way - I am conscious that I’m being a pain in the ass when I post stuff like this.)


#4

You’re on the money and no you aren’t being a pain. I’m sensitive to these topics as well. The source is open and you can host your own instance. But I stand by my point that services like ghostery and many others are within reach of the general public. They get talked about, esp. in light of recent Facebook disclosures.

Plus you install them and they require no settings or maintenance. It just works which is clearly boosting adoption. And they get at the heart of what you want which is to maintain privacy and prevent its erosion.