Trash Google Analytics

Just slightly off-topic since this feedback is for the Jolla site, not for the forum.

Screenshot 2021-01-14 084605

Just noticed that jolla.com and at least one subdomain (blog.jolla.com) both use Google Analytics to track users.

Both from a privacy as well as from a PR perspective, this is a catastrophe only comparable with the sinking of the Titanic. How are users (both existing as well as potential) supposed to believe that their privacy is important to you, when you use the most privacy-invading analytics on your main site?

I suggest switching to Matomo/Piwik (I am not associated with them in any way) - or any ethical analytics tool for that matter.

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I can’t speak on behalf of Jolla, but I will say that Google Analytics provides their cloud services for free, as opposed to Matomo - the only free alternative there is to maintain the tool on your own, for which you could write your own.
As nice as this would be, often companies find that the cost associated with doing some analytics and improving their business in this way outweighs the benefits of moving away from the apparently free services available. FWIW, every “free” analytics tool out there comes with caveats. Nothing is ever free.

You can host Matomo yourself, making it even more privacy-conserving. Given that Jolla hosts this Discourse instance on their own setup as well (or so it seems, and I guess), that isn’t out of the realm of possibilities.

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Yes, but this costs money. Everything costs money. I tried to paint a realistic picture for companies like Jolla in my previous post. This is a harsh reality that can’t be changed by a post, as much as we all agree with the approach.

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Besides the direct privacy aspect, I wonder how accurate those stats are on a site like this? I guesstimate the visitors on this forum are much more technically apt than average, and (thus?) know about tracking and know how to prevent it. Has anyone insights in differences between what GA tells you and reality, on technical sites like this?

(Btw, Matomo is blocked by uBO as well, and while I don’t mind these privacy-friendlier local-site-only trackers, I can’t be bothered to explicitly unblock them.)

I don’t think the forum has analytics, that’s for the other sites - it is very common if you have any ecommerce gig going on, and it’s often enough, even if you block them, to give you an idea on viistors/sales/etc…

Hm indeed, no (external) tracking here on the forum, according to my uBO! And, Jolla uses discoursehosting.net for hosting.

I am glad you asked this. I noticed it before and mentioned it on the website, but it was removed. The site also does fingerprinting. Not so privacy friendly. A cookie menu according to GDPR would be better.

That’s the problem indeed. Google and other Big Tech companies know this. Google offers a lot for free, it seems, but lets you pay with your data, or, in this case, the data of your customers.

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Just search the site in Firefox with UBlockOrigin.

I looked at the source - there is no GA in the forums, not sure what you mean by that to be honest.

You are right. It isn’t in the forum, it is in the website.

My experience is that the stats are not even near anything. I checked our business websites and even some of our customers and compared the visitors/hits from Matomo and GA against GoAccess which analyses the server logs. The best case for Matomo/GA was about 50% off, worst case was over 70% off. If you base any decision on these numbers, you only care about half or one third of your users.

I think it is completely nonsense to track users these days on the client side, blockers and required consent make the stats unreliable and useless.

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The whole question wasn’t about this forum but about the website.

This thread, yes; but there was an interim comment about “users in this forum” :slight_smile: Regardless, we now know the truth: GA is being used in some Jolla websites, we shouldn’t concern ourselves with it too much as it’s a necessary evil until one of us can throw money at something that provides the same or better service for free.
FWIW, I don’t have free money yet, so I can’t do it :wink:

Hm, what about fingerprinting? That’s what the website does too. In the EU we have GDPR, so we might expect a decent cookie menu.

yea yea. I know this ‘’‘argument’’’ all too well. Google is a necessary evil because noone does it as good for free - no matter how aggressively they violate the users’ privacy. Whatsapp is a necessary evil because hey, everyone is using it, why go against the current - no matter their surveillance and security practices. Zoom is a necessary evil because hey, I just need something that works and is free - no matter how poorly designed their software is. This is in my not-so-humble opinion a very mediocre way of looking at things.

The whole point here is that I am not complaining about GA in and by itself - the whole damn internet swarms with it (an estimated 75% of websites). I am complaining that Jolla uses it. My real problem with it, is that they could easily extend the usage of GA to other websites under their control - for example this forum, or, worst case, to shop.jolla.com .

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Sure, OK, what is the proposed alterntive to GA so that Jolla doesn’t have to invest any time or resources?
You may know the argument I stated too well, but there is no solution for a private company who wishes to be competitive. I am surprised that shop.jolla.com doesn’t use GA - to be honest, it would be understandable.
I feel like it is too easy to criticise companies like Jolla that offer a channel to do so.
The reality is that these forums don’t use GA, the shop itself doesn’t either, so that’s a plus, we can’t simply ask a company to do our bidding for free, just because we don’t like one of the tools they use.
Having said all this, I will stop here - I think this thread is done and dusted; each to their own in their mediocre or otherwise ways of looking at things, in my humble opinion.

How can a company which markets their main product as a privacy aware alternative against (google) Android using Google Analytics on their sites? While offering a Google Free alternative mobile OS, you not only incorporate their malware on your own site, but implicitly accept and approve their imperialistic un-ethical practices? You couldn’t damage your image even more!

Which marketing trainee @Jolla has convinced Jolla to even consider it?
I recently tried to raise a support case at their support page (zendesk) at that site is also bugged witth GA scripts too.

For me is this a major turndown, how can I trust Jolla on other aspects in their products? Do they build also backdoors for the rusians, there might be (GA) and other types of tracking built into the Sailfish OS aswell. My trust in Jolla is down the drain.

And then, hypothetically speaking, if Google Analytics was put there by mistake, what does is add? You got more information about surf information from the site visitors. So what? And even better you, give all your valuable information to Google, your competitor…

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I bet Jolla would be absolutely ecstatic if Google ever gets to think they are an actual competitor.
So would I.