Time to switch monitoring tools, and adopting Free Software all the way. So far, as declared in the information pages, I have used Google Analytics to collect some stats on the usage. Not anymore. Now I am using Piwik, a Free Software replacement that does its job easily and cleanly.

Google Analytics has gone through a series of data protection enquiries although so far I have no news that any authority has unquestionably found its use against the law.

However, whereas I always implemented a policy of never try to dig too further into the data, basically using the number of pages read, navigation path, referrals and search keys as the only useful information, I was uneasy with the fact that my readers could undergo a more in-depth analysis by the others with whom I shared said data. In fact, Analytics works out of a javascript snippet that is downloaded from Google servers and that monitors the behaviour of the surfer. Pretty disturbing indeed. I was providing valuable information for free, in return of some information that were for me of low or no value –  yet for other users they could be invaluable.

Moreover, my entire website is based on Free Software, from Apache to Debian, from MySQL to PHP and Drupal. Google Analytics actually download and run a piece of code, written on Javascript, of questionable nature and upon which I have no control.

More than enough reasons to switch. Then I have found this interesting project, the above mentioned Piwik, which is based on Free Software development, released under the GPL and that installs on my own machine. It was no brainer, I have installed it, it was up in less than five minutes, zero effort. It is I who read all the data, and I will continue doing it with moderation. If you don’t trust my word, trust my laziness.

I have moved my main two websites, Law is Freedom (this one) and Array. The third one, http://law.piana.eu is a low traffic one and frankly I don’t give a damn monitoring it.


  <a href="/taxonomy/term/18">Free software, digital liberties</a>

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