[nycbug-talk] FreeBSD & Google Analytics

Brett brett.mahar at gmx.com
Mon Dec 10 19:42:30 EST 2012

> > > >
> > > > We (FreeBSD) are respecting DNT, not relying on Google.  Additionally,
> > > > disabling Javascript will also disallow tracking.
> > > >
> >
> > A good reminder to disable javascript for daily internet use and only
> enable for sites that need it. Even though FreeBSD is respecting DNT, it
> doesn't take much of an imagination to see many other sites will not
> respect this flag.
> >
> > Since there are probably many website administrators on this mailing
> list, my suggestion to any of them who want to improve privacy/security on
> the internet: build websites that are fully functional without javascript.
> >

> No, you as a browser of the web need to protect yourself.  The sites can
> deliver content through whatever media they want. If we all feel strongly
> about this it should be negotiated via headers to let the service know you
> are a text only client.

That is practical for computer-literate people, but completely impractical for the average person. 

e.g.: Imagine installing noscript or disabling javascript by browser settings on the average person's computer. It would take them about 5 minutes of browsing to hit a site that will not function correctly without javascript, or tells them to "please enable javascript" so the site will work correctly. 

Computer literate people, or people who don't mind some minor hacking, can then re-enable javascript or click the noscript "allow" button. If you know a bit about computers then you can usually guess when a site is not working propoerly what the reason is, and re-enable. But, for example, my mum and flatmates and 95% of the people who own iPads won't know or do this. 

"No, you as a browser of the web need to protect yourself." Is a fine-sounding pronouncement, but completely impractical (and therefore a useless suggestion) for the vast majority of the human population, unless webmasters stop having such a completely unrealistic viewpoint of what end users should do :-)

"The sites can deliver content through whatever media they want." But I was not talking about "the sites." I was talking about the website administrators who choose what media to use, and choose not to provide fallbacks for people who disagree. 


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