Today I want to share some of my findings that I’ve found while creating a privacy focused analytics, Analytics Box. The tool is not complete so my findings my defer or even my of opposite of what you may have.

I have seen many privacy analytics which are super great, but there is a problem with these tools they don’t use Cookies or sessions to track users. This might sound weird at first but think.

They create their unique identifier on server side. So when user wants to change or delete their unique identifer they can’t as they have no control over server, but if they were using cookies then the user can just clear cookie, clear session storage or local storage for that matter.

The problem I’ve have here is they can do this to track their users but no concent is taken and user most of the time does not have a idea that they are being tracked, while when some website uses cookies they at least have idea because of the cookie banner that website is required to show.

Users don’t even have choice to opt-out of this as they have with cookies which they can block if they have been give no choice.

I think that people are going crazy for not showing concent banners to their users.

When I started this project I also started with the approach of server side unique identifier but I removed that in next updates as I realized this, while trying to generate test data manually. Now by default it uses session storage and can be configured to use cookies instead.

Managed Solutions are necessary.

Managed Solutions are necessary as most of the people don’t have technical know how and if they do so they don’t want to manage their own infrastructure, because its complicated to say the least.

So if we want mass adoption of any privacy focused analytics or any tool for that matter then the creator of tool should try to invest their some to make the tool a managed service so more people will adopt it, also the creator can enjoy a stream of cash flow.

Managed services are expensive.

Prices of these managed tools are super expensive like starting from more that $5 / month and it can get pretty expensive pretty quick as the cost is charged on number page views which I think is not the best solution instead they can charge a flat fee and more features for more bigger subscription and this will increase their customer and their profits (hopefully), and this will also make the people installing these managed solutions feel more safe as they are not going to receive a hefty bill as they got more traffic.

Users don’t always want free stuff but they want it at a reasonable price.

Users don’t have access to their data.

This is the main problem for most of the analytics, that user don’t what is and has been tracked. Users have no way to know this. So their should be a way for users to know what is being tracked and what isn’t.

I have shifted away from Google Analytics to Offen Analytics today, I’m also trying shynet and Umani as they have a better, clean and modern UI.

I’ve deployed both of them to Heroku to see which one I like the most, and them will keep the one that I like.

Good UI

There are many good tools which are best in class but are not main stream, the reason I think this is because their UI are too old and/or are too hard to navigate.

I would like to put google analytics in this category but it has so many users because its free and is a hosted option.

In my option a good UI is important for any application for adoption.

This was some of my findings hope you learnt some thing, and let me know your thought in reddit.


Subreddit: PrivacyToolsIO