According to a post on the Google Analytics blog, Google are developing a “global browser based plug-in to allow users to opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics“.
The writer explains that this is in the interests of “protecting use data privacy“.
This has the potential to cripple the accuracy of Google Analytics data, and will effectively be a major step backwards. Companies will once again be forced to choose between highly inaccurate Analytics data (where inaccurate may be synonymous with useless) and other analytics solutions.
The problem for many will be finding other solutions. Finding a server analytics package you can work with and trust is far from simple.
Our company eventually settled with Urchin, but we had to tweak and adjust the settings to get anywhere near accurate – see Urchin Madness? Over-reporting is the norm.
For now, the cynic may be forgiven for thinking that this pushes users of the ‘free’ Google Analytics platform to commercial options, such as Urchin.
The more astute cynic may wonder why Google are prepared to protect a user’s privacy from website owners, but not from themselves. I can’t see Google developing a plug-in to opt out from Google tracking their search history.
Don’t confuse ‘Don’t be evil’ with ‘Don’t be hypocritical’.