So what’s with all that nagging about tracking and that DoNotTrack plugin, you might wonder? Well, it’s pretty simple actually.
- Some very popular WordPress plugins include 3rd party tracking, sometimes even without properly disclosing, often without means to disable this behavior
- 3rd party tracking has privacy implications: all your visitors are tracked by the 3rd party, in general for behavioral marketing purposes (depending on what data is captured, tracking might even be illegal in some countries)
- 3rd party tracking has a performance impact: every visit to your blog will include between 2 and 5 extra requests for the 3rd party tracking to succeed, effectively delaying full page rendering
It is my conviction that blog owners should be able to install and use WordPress plugins without having to worry about undisclosed tracking and that plugins should provide a way to disable such 3rd party tracking if included.
Some details from the readme.txt:
- What works:
- It sets a2a_config.no_3p to true for addtoany not to execute the 3rd party tracking
- What does not work (yet): Tracking code added using innerHTML or appendChild/insertBefore is not yet intercepted (but I’m working a solution for that)
- What else might be added:
- a widget which explains tracking for your visitors, with a link to this bookmarklet to opt out of many tracking/ advertising services at once
- other known opt-out code to disable tracking for all visitors of your blog
- support for the DNT-header as seen in Firefox4
- How you can help:
- Provide me with links to plugins that include browser-based tracking + domain where the tracking is done.
- Tell plugin writers you’re not happy with 3rd party tracking!
- Tell your visitors about tracking & privacy, link to e.g. http://www.privacychoice.org/
And remember: if you host your WordPress blog yourself, you and nobody else should be able to decide who tracks your users!