Custom Software Development and Engineering

Respecting a users preference of privacy with Do Not Track

I recently read Stephanie Hobson’s post on Mozilla Hacks about Google Analytics, Privacy, and Event Tracking, a timely piece on handling user choice when it comes to being tracked. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do as the piece is well written and worth your time.

For those unaware, Do Not Track is a mechanism for protecting online privacy that addresses the challenge of pervasive online web tracking. For a full run down I highly recommend the Electronic Frontier Foundation post on the matter. You can enable such a setting in your browser today (a simple Google search for you browser of choice should point you in the right direction).

What does all that have to do with us at Stickman Ventures? This site, like many other web sites, implements analytics. We love analytics, be it Google Analytics, Piwik, or some other. Such tools give us data insights into how we as developers can make sites and apps better for end users.

But what if that user coming to our site has Do Not Track enabled? Should we not respect that decision? Some businesses will argue that it’s just the way to do business. “You gotta keep trackin’ otherwise how will you stay afloat and target users?” It’s all about sales, it’s all about the shareholders, so on and so forth.

We disagree.

There is no choice in our mind; one must respect a users’ privacy and choice to that privacy regardless of the bottom line.

In conjunction with Stephanie’s article and the Do Not Track function built by Mozillian Schalk Neethling, we have implemented that very feature on our site. We will not track users who have Do Not Track enabled in their browsers.

We hope that other sites and firms respect Do Not Track as well. Privacy and security are important for all.

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