AddToAny: removing the “spy” from the share-ware

Update 01-2012: AddToAny now includes tracking by parent company which cannot easily be disabled.

After discovering AddToAny secretly enrolls all of my blogs visitors in a behavioral marketing platform, I disabled the plugin and mailed the author for more information. He answered the media6degrees-integration was a partner-test, only providing them with non-personally identifiable data, which the company indeed can use for targeted advertising. But the good news was that AddToAny would also offer a “publisher opt-out mechanism” shortly. And indeed, last week, Pat announced the brand new a2a api and mailed me the following opt-out code;

var a2a_config = a2a_config || {};
a2a_config.no_3p = 1;

These two lines of javascript, which have to be placed in front of the script-include, should disable all current and future 3rd party tracking. I hope the web-guys from e.g. and (and there are many others) implement this as soon as possible!

So now we can opt-out from having our visitors being spied upon by media6degrees, what more could one want? Well, since you’re asking, here’s a small list of things AddToAny could really should do;

  • transparency; tell users that their visitors’ information will be shared with 3rd parties (in all relevant places)
  • documentation: show them how to “remove the spy” on the AddToAny api page (“no_3p” isn’t there)
  • ease-of-use: allow the tracking to be disabled with a simple checkbox in the WordPress and Drupal plugins

The opt-out code is a important first step and I’m sure concerns such as those voiced on the WordPress-forums will help AddToAny to further make the right decisions!

4 thoughts on “AddToAny: removing the “spy” from the share-ware

  1. JMB

    Thanks – this is great, and can be implemented straightforwardly by pasting those two lines of code into the “Additional Options” JavaScript box on the AddToAny Settings page from wp-admin.

    I haven’t tested whether it actually does what it says it does yet, but putting it in the WP settings box there does correctly place it above the page.js

    Thanks again for your efforts in getting/posting this!

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