In late 2005, Google started to provide free access to a web analytics product based on the previously expensive Urchin software suite. In the 15 years since, this strategy succeeded to get Google Analytics tracking code included in a stunning share of websites by providing access to a powerful tool at (seemingly) no cost.
The centralized collection of usage data by Google is something users have no control about if Analytics is installed on a website. It therefore is worth to consider alternatives that still enable a service provider with the required insight but protect their users’ privacy - to apply principles of “Privacy-Aware Design” to not even subject a site’s users to such privacy risks.
Adhering to the principle to not share user data with third parties and implementing an analytics solution that does respect privacy is not overly complicated - though it will mean to give up on the “free” Google Analytics and develop a solution with decentralized alternatives like matomo.org.
After a decade of advocating Wordpress as a publishing platform, we have moved to Ghost and never looked back. It's much more secure for our users, it offers a faster user experience (we got a score of 94/100 in terms of speed!) and from a content creator perspective it's as good if not nicer, as the Medium backend. If however, you are reading this, and still are running a WP site, you should consider giving the free Plugin from Matomo a go ... (Installation Video)
As it does not hurt to have options, and it's not like there are many, we also are looking into another privacy-focused alternative to Google Analytics. Fathom is a simple and private website analytics platform.
Fathom Analytics started out fully open-source. Now, they run an open-source version and a paid version. Jack and Paul hash out their honest reasoning behind not open-sourcing V2, and how they messed up by announcing V2 would be open-source, but then changing their minds.
Brave fights malware and prevents tracking, keeping your information safe and secure. They are not in the personal data business. They neither see nor store your browsing data – it stays private, on your devices, until you delete it.
Since installing the Brave Browser 222,299 ads and trackers got blocked. Pretty impressive. We are a verified publisher on Brave since the very early days. By now, over 10,000 other publishers and content creators have joined.
So far we received 200 BAT ($37) for using the Brave privacy-first browser ...
If you turn on Brave Rewards, you can give a little back to the sites you frequent most. 😜 Earn frequent flyer-like tokens (BAT) for viewing privacy-respecting ads through Brave and help fund the content you love. 😎 Brave can automatically distribute your contributions based on how much time you spend on sites. Or, you can choose to tip sites directly, and even offer a fixed monthly tip amount. 🤙
All of this works while keeping your browsing history private. Your funds are made available to site owners through an anonymous ledger system, so you can’t be identified based on the sites you visit and support. Remember: these contributions are optional – browsing the web with Brave is free.