back to article Mountain View delivers Google Analytics opt-out

Mountain View has released a browser add-on that opts you out of Google Analytics, the traffic monitoring service now used by 71 per cent of the top domains on the interwebs. Google announced the plug-in on Tuesday with a post to its Public Policy blog, following through on a promise it made in mid-March. The plug-in is …

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  1. The BigYin

    Wong way round

    Google should be forced to assume no tracking UNLESS I install a plug-in that says they are allowed to trace my movements over 'net and mine my behaviour, track what I do. Where the hell do these companies get off and why do our governments to diddly-squat to protect us?

    The 'net used to be about sharing data, empowering people to communicate. Now it is just becoming another tool of the corporations to exploit us.

    1. Nick Stallman
      FAIL

      Websites?

      And how should a website owner get statistics of his traffic then?

      Google doesnt use Analytics data elsewhere. Its purely a service for webmasters.

      Complain to the webmasters who use it if you want, not Google.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Grenade

        Google shill?

        How should a webmaster get statistics of his traffic?

        The same way any number of half-competent webmasters who don't use Google Analytics do. How dare any webmaster pass on my IP address and/or any other data pertaining to my browsing to a company repeatedly proven untrustworthy without asking my permission first. Anyway, if the traffic statistics are so important, why rely on an external service that an increasing number of people are blocking?

        I kill G-A at the HOSTS file level and wouldn't trust a plugin from Google to stop collecting the data anyway but to just stop providing the feedback to the websites that use it.

        I'd also like to see concrete evidence of your assertion that Google doesn't use Analytics data elsewhere. It just doesn't match Google's profile.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Alert

        Right...

        You seriously believe Google provide that fairly intensive service for free and don't use the data atall? Even if we assume they don't use the actual collected data to spy on site traffic for various reasons, it's a near cert that they analyse overall user trends for anything they can use to further their ad business if you ask me.

      3. The BigYin
        FAIL

        Stats?

        A website owner can already grab a lot of information from my browser, so that satisfies any technical needs.

        As for other stats, how does it work in the real world? Use that model. Promo codes, loyalty card etc. Works for any real business, so where do website owners get-off thinking they are some kind of "special case".

        My privacy is a shitload more important than your crappy little advertising spreadsheet.

        And you really think Google don't use it? Christ on a bike, you really are naive aren't you?

  2. 46Bit
    Linux

    Ah

    Just add google-analytics.com to HOSTS as 127.0.0.1 and you don't have to worry about anything, no need for a plugin.

    1. FailedTrolleyStacker
      Boffin

      HOSTS what?

      Good idea, but what about the 99.9% of web surfers who don't what a HOSTS file is or where to find one and if they did find it, how to add "google-analytics.com" as 127.0.0.1???

      And how do you change that on your mobile or iPhone, iPad or iWhatever?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Noscript

    At least on Firefox how is this different from simply not allowing google-analytics.com (or whatever it is) to not run scripts? I've never had any problems with it blocked.

    And block it in hosts.

    I'm not sure I trust a tracking company to provide a piece of code to disable their tracking...

    1. Christoph

      NoScript has a special handler

      You shouldn't see any problems anywhere - NoScript puts in a dummy routine when you block google analytics in case sites require it.

      1. Graham Marsden
        Thumb Up

        NoScript

        ... I've been blocking Google Analytics with NoScript since I installed it and it's never caused problems yet.

  4. Jeremy 2
    Grenade

    Why trust Google's plugin?

    Why trust Google's plugin? Just use Adblock Plus instead.

    Add a filter for

    http://*.google-analytics.com/*

    and have done with it. It's always kept GA blocked for me, including, according to ABP, on this very comment form page ;)

    1. adnim

      Don't forget...

      to add

      http://*google.com/adsense/*

      http://*googlesyndication.com/*

      http://*googleadservices.com/*

      http://*.doubleclick.net/*

  5. James Geldart

    @Noscript

    It isn't different, but the average user wouldn't have a clue what you're talking about: "not allowing google-analytics.com to run scripts". But they might manage to install a plugin from a webpage with a nice green button saying 'add to firefox' or whatever

    take your point about not trusting a tracking co though...

  6. Adam Williamson 1
    Joke

    Follow-up

    No word yet on how Google plans to use the new tracking data it now receives on who exactly chooses to opt out of its other tracking mechanisms? :)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    Opt-out? Not Likely

    Seems to me that with the plugin installed, they'll be able to track you on all sites, not just the ones with Google Analytics.

  8. Renato
    Grenade

    Latency

    Just using AdBlock+ to disable those Google "tools" makes pages load way faster. If Google's servers hiccups (which for adsense, analytics & co. it does rather frequently), there's a perceptible delay on page load. And hell, those "developers" who think using Google AJAX API hosted on Google's servers (or Yahoo's) is a good idea should be killed.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Meh.

    Been blocking it for years already.

    And like hell I'm going to install a plugin from Google claiming to block its own tracker.

    AC obv.

  10. Tom 7 Silver badge

    @Nick Stallman

    "And how should a website owner get statistics of his traffic then?"

    Its quite easy to do - you dont need to go to a 2nd party for this information - its only the williterate that need to pay others for web basics.

    As for google analytices etc - NoScript them - you'd be amazed how much faster sites work!

  11. Pedro Mendosa

    It's very helpful

    What Google do with the data for themselves, no one knows. Why shouldn't webmasters see how users are accessing data on their site? The whole point of GA is for companies to learn and adapt their site to make it better for the consumer.

    All I know for sure is that it's a hugely powerful tool that gives me information it would be hard or very time-consuming to get any other way.

    They don't pass on the IP address to webmasters - you don't even get a timestamp (just a datestamp). I can get IPs and timestamps from FusionReactor and other logs. In combination with the latter two, GA has even been instrumental in identifying companies who have been fraudulently using our site with someone else's login details.

    In summary, there's very little GA does which you couldn't do by other means, GA just brings it together in a user friendly way.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ghostery

    Been using the Ghostery plug-in to do this for ages already. Works with lots of other prying stuff too.

  13. Alice Andretti
    Happy

    I like the RequestPolicy add-on

    "Just add google-analytics.com to HOSTS as 127.0.0.1 and you don't have to worry about anything, no need for a plugin."

    I use RequestPolicy <https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/9727/> to inform me of, and allow me to selectively block, various things including Google Analytics. Although RequestPolicy isn't really for the casual Joe/Jane Average Surfer and it's not something you'd want to install on your grandma's computer ;) because she'd just complain about "all the internet is broken" or whatever.

    However, for people who want to know what their browser is *really* connecting to when it visits a particular website, RequestPolicy is quite informative. It can also be annoying to deal with (but that's only because so many sites these days secretly connect you to a bunch of other sites), but I find it useful and I'd rather *know* what's happening, even if it means I may have to make a few extra clicks (or lots of extra clicks) when visiting websites I haven't been to before.

    I didn't know about the host file thing that "46Bit" and a/c mentioned, but that sounds useful too. The hosts file is one of those mysterious things I've heard shadowy references to for years but never really understood what it was for or how/why to use it. So, thanks for the info :)

  14. CD001

    GoogAlytics

    Yes - you can pretty much replicate anything in Google Analytics yourself with a bit of jiggery pokery and maybe add in some log file analysis... but if your marketing department has seen Google Analytics, you're stuffed - it's got graphs and everything.

    Though a better option is probably to give Piwik a shot.

  15. J Joensuu

    A browser plugin? No thanks.

    Ridiculous that I would have to install a browser plugin, or in other words a piece of code that runs every time I run my browser...not-very-good...

    By the way is Google Worship the reason we do not have "devil" and "angel" icons here at this site for the two Google Founding Fathers?

    Think about this...what are YOUR sentiments about Google...or rather WHY are they what they are? Are they REALLY that good?

    Or should I say "Has Google really said, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

    (Google Genesis 3:1)

    haha

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