Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How to treat your visitors with respect?

Everyone of us work hard to make his website or blog appealing for the audience, whether by delivering the proper content, design or services. And to be able to always satisfy your visitors, you should gather some basic information about them(page views, country, browser, OS, traffic source).

Such information in my hands or any other website's, is most probably harmless and it is to serve a specific purpose.
These information become harmful when you hand them to big corporations with huge databases containing a tremendous amount of information, that eventually, by matching them, they could end up possessing some very intimate and personal information about your visitors.
And by big corporations I mean Google, Facebook, .... or in some countries, government.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not trying by any means to generalize that big corporation are evil (Although it's not totally wrong) and other independent website are good. But there is a factor we can't ignore, these corporations have the power. Power that neither I nor any website have.

How is information gathered?
Well, simply put, an information is gathered whenever you Like something on Facebook, you +1 something on Google, you connect to iTunes or the scariest, when you send an email(check this post: Audacity).

Some other times, it is handed out to them by bloggers and website owners like us.

How? Well, in the process of working on our blogs and websites and making them more appealing, we need tools to help us, and some of these big corporations, as kind as they are, offer it to us for free (Check out this hostile post If you're not paying for it, you're the product). And it is needless to say, that the most powerful and popular tool is Google's web analytic.

How to treat your visitors with respect?
Whether you are a care free person who thinks that all this is delusional and worthless or whether you are some paranoid person who believes in conspiracy and spray over their webcams because you think you're under surveillance, whether you like this digital world or not, it is a fact that it is controlled in a way Hitler could've only dreamed of.

And once you have a website, you have a responsibility and whether you believe in privacy or not, it isn't up to you anymore. You have visitors, that have their own beliefs and you have to respect them. And in order to do that, you must not hand the information they trusted you with to anyone because by this you would be sabotaging your relationship and showing no respect to their privacy and freedom.

So, a first step would be keeping these information to yourself. And to do that, you must use tools developed by people who believe in freedom and personal privacy unlike Google. So what I am suggesting, is for us to stop using Google Analytic and start respecting our visitors. And by us, I mean myself too. So, join me!

What's the alternative?
If you've been coming to my blog (powered by Blogger-Google) for a long time, you would know that I won't leave you without an alternative, an excellent one: :a free software and by that I mean that it respects the freedom of computer users by putting the users first and granting them freedom and control. And it also happens that it costs 0$.

1 comment:

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    Matthieu Aubry
    Piwik Founder & Lead Developer