Content delivery network (opens in new tab) provider Cloudflare (opens in new tab) has announced a new privacy-respecting analytics service, which it has now integrated with the de-facto WordPress hosting platform (opens in new tab), Wordpress.com.
The new product, dubbed Privacy First Web Analytics (opens in new tab), will allow website publishers (opens in new tab) to collect usage data and get meaningful insights about their visitors without invading their privacy.
“At Cloudflare, our mission is to help build a better Internet, and part of that is to deliver essential web analytics (opens in new tab) to everyone with a website, without compromising user privacy. For free. We’ve never been interested in tracking users or selling advertising. We don’t want to know what you do on the Internet — it’s not our business,” writes Cloudflare’s Product Manager, Data and Analytics, Jon Levine, as he announced the general availability of the new analytics product.
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Companies have made a fortune selling targeted privacy-intruding advertising on the Internet. Cloudflare argues that the same model is used by popular analytics platforms, without taking any names. “They track visitor behavior and create buyer profiles to retarget your visitors with ads; in exchange, you get free analytics,” it explains.
Cloudflare’s new analytics service doesn’t use any client-side states like cookies, nor does it track users via their IP address, or user agent string, or other such immutable attributes.
“Rather than count unique IP addresses, which would require storing state about what each visitor does, we can simply count the number of page views that come from a different site. This provides a perfectly usable metric that doesn’t compromise on privacy,” explains Cloudflare.
While anyone can sign up and use the new web analytics service for free by adding an HTML snippet in their web pages, Cloudflare has tied up with Automattic, the company that supports the development of the WordPress open source (opens in new tab) content management system (CMS (opens in new tab)), to integrate the tracking code in the WordPress.com dashboard.
Cloudflare has collaborated with Automattic in the past as well, with the Automatic Platform Optimization service (opens in new tab) to speed up WordPress websites.
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