Friday, July 28, 2006

Privacy on the Internet

We all like to rant in our blogs about privacy infringements by the US government, phone companies, our ISPs, and the rafts of snooping ne'er-do-wells who are looking to commit fraud or just cause some mischief.

Yet on these very same outraged blogs, many of us are collecting a suspicious amount of info about our visitors. I don't really want bloggers to know that I visited their site and what I looked at, even if they can only see my domain (and so, in many cases, guess it's me). I think that's creepy. I protest.

I have a site meter on this blog, but it collects no individual data, just statistics about average visits. Rest assured, your privacy is protected on Yappa Ding Ding!

Update: After discovering (thanks Tom) that my site meter does collect individual data, and even makes it available to anyone looking at my site, I removed it.



tom s. said...

Fair enough - but I can't see a way in Sitemeter to disable the collection of some of that material. How do you go about suppressing the collection of individual data?

Yappa said...

When I set up site meter, I set it up so that all I get is an email with average stats and no details. I believe this is the simplest setup they offer. Since I did it over a week ago, I can no longer remember any other details... ;-)

By the way, I find it interesting that the number of people who visit my site has stayed pretty steady (at a whopping 20/day) even over the past several weeks when I haven't had time to write much. However, my Technorati ranking of how many people reference my URL has soared from 200,000th a couple of months ago to today's score of 47,236. Whooooeee!

tom s. said...

Click the Sitemeter icon at the bottom of your front page. It takes you to an online report: click details at the left, and you see a list of IP numbers or domains of people who have visited this site. Someone from was there at 4:16 and as it is now 4:18 I guess that's me.

Unfortunately, not so private. I'd be interested to hear if you can disable it. I agree with your sentiment - a little icon that we could post on blogs showing "no big brother here" would be a good idea.

Yappa said...

Oh, dear. By adding a site meter I have made it possible not only for me to monitor my visitors, but also for my visitors to monitor my visitors.

This blogspot site has links to a bunch of alterntive types of site meter. I'm going to check them out. It used to be that web sites just had a simple counter; that would be okay, although I like the daily total thing.

Thanks, Tom!