no more Google Analytics or how i went to 4 sites but my data went to 35!


all this talk about the NSA has helped me to understand how unprivate even my avatar is! imagine the files that the NSA has on Ener Hax! Ener will probably have to pay income tax soon! =p

this intrusion into our privacy is really not cool and sucks overall =(

however, it really isn’t that surprising and, as such, i was a bit miffed that the news made a big deal out of the Pope even being listened in on

i don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that anyone connected to the web or by phone has been spied on (but how do they hack into the connection between the Pope and God? and does that mean those people are going to Hell?)

hey Bob, God’s talking to the Pope again, grab that line and listen in

BUT . . . even before the NSA revelations, i knew that my data was being scooped up. heck, i even scrape some of your info with Google Analytics. those analytics show me how many visitors come by, how long they stay, what they look at, where they are from (even the town), what their OS is, their monitor resolution, and some other tidbits. i don’t see who you are but i bet Google does!

it’s enough to make me delete the Google code from my sites (this site,, and

after all, what do i need that data for?

i used to be obsessed with it but apart from SoaS downloads, i don’t look at it much anymore – so why should i leave it on? for sure Google uses it and makes money from it but what do i care about that?

WordPress collects data on this blog and makes some of it available to me – like the total number of unique visitors per day and search terms that led them here, but i don’t need all that other Google tracking stuff

hmm, i just talked myself into removing the Google Analytics code here and on! (check it out with reveal codes, i just deleted it here!) *i feel so anti-establishment and all heroic* =p

part of what made me make that decision is seeing how much data is actually tracked. i had been using Chrome as my portable USB stick browser until about 6 months ago. it was freezing all the time and the portable version could not be updated. i changed to Firefox Portable and have been very happy with it and you can update it like normal

today i saw a Firefox add-on called Lightbeam and decided to try it out

holy cow!

i visited 4 sites – a post on this blog, my Kitely page for Hax Nuit, Hypergrid Business, and Sim-on-a-Stick – to see how many places actually collect my data

that’s only 4 websites but my data was actively tracked by 35 sites!

here’s how Lightbeam graphed this tracking (i added the numbers to show my sequence):


so here are the specifics (below) – the main sites and then the connections specifically tracking MY data! i’m going to try it out for an entire day and see how many 1000’s of places collect my info. it’s enough to make you start asking websites to stop tracking you! i know some things are part of convenient services, like gravatar for comments and flickr for embedded photos, but a site like this one doesn’t need to have Google Analytics that are not being used except to make Google more money!

ya see, all those years that you thought someone was spying on you . . . they were! doh! o_O

    • (the root of the blog)
    • (retweet dealio)
    • (from a comment)
    • (my analytics but not anymore!)
    • (share buttons)
    • (sidebar search box)
    • (google fonts subQuark used AND google analytics)
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written by Ener Hax

November 6th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

posted in social networking

tagged with ,

6 comments to 'no more Google Analytics or how i went to 4 sites but my data went to 35!'

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  1. I use AVAST as my virus protection and they have a browser addon for firefox that tells you each place that tries to track you and lets you allow or never allow – kinda handy to weed out being tracked….but it does get ridiculous. Go and buy some ball bearings from a internet merchant ONCE in your life and all of a sudden on totally dissimilar sites you visit – you now see ball bearing ads. (like you are going to ever need more!)

    Recently my main email has started to get spam, which I try hard not to use that email for random stuff….but it got out somehow :(


    6 Nov 13 at 2:36 pm

  2. LOL I love the paranoia tag! It’s terrible, but it’s true – everybody’s grabbing every tiny bit of data they can on everybody. It comes down to what we’re willing to give for whatever we think we might be getting..I personally don’t use Google Anything for my own sites, but professionally I have to – it’s what clients want. I’ve come to the conclusion that people know, they just don’t seem to care :/


    6 Nov 13 at 2:37 pm

  3. My mantra is… collect it and it will be misused. My advice to colleagues and students is not to collect and store data unless its absolutely essential to the service or task in hand.

    We all used to be called paranoid… but we were right. Someone really was out to get us :-)

    Ai Austin

    6 Nov 13 at 2:57 pm

  4. Hi Ener,

    Regarding the ones when you visited Kitely:

    The ones are an Amazon CDN from which you downloaded some of the images and javascript files for our site.,, are Facebook domains used by the Facebook Like button and our Facebook login integration. and are LinkedIn domains used by the LinkedIn Share button. is a Google site used by Google Analytics.

    Ilan Tochner

    7 Nov 13 at 1:40 pm

  5. I check myself on google sometimes.
    Lately it’s decided I’m obsessed with photography and virtual worlds.

    ……. as if …….

    But it is getting spookily accurate and throwing up less unrelated junk. A good thing or a bad thing, depending how good you are at having it show what you want people to see.

    I’m sure that’s a very important skill in the 21st century

    Keith Selmes

    7 Nov 13 at 2:33 pm

  6. Another nice FF extension for seeing who is tracking you (and optionally blocking them!) is Ghostery.

    And I’m happy to say that on this page (, Ghostery only shows Gravatar, Twitter button, and WordPress stats (all of which are fine with me).

    On some sites there are dozens of trackers :(


    17 Nov 13 at 8:18 pm

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