I’ve decided to add some analytics to my site via the open-source analytics app Fathom. Previously, I used Matomo (formerly Piwik) to do analytics, but that was too heavyweight for my needs.

TL;DR: I only really care about browser details in aggregate, and what posts are popular, and respect Do Not Track. Everything else? Don’t care, don’t track.

Here’s a brief description on my configuration and what I do and don’t (can’t and won’t) track.

  • User IPs are anonymized

    Although your IP address is logged by my webserver (inevitably), Fathom does not track IP addresses. Fathom does send a cookie, but it only contains a randomly-generated string, which expires 30 minutes after your visit.

    As an added bonus: I have my web server set up inside a Docker container (look that one up, kids), and due to a quirk in my configuration which I won’t actually fix, IPv6 addresses aren’t actually seen by the web server, and so will always be recorded as coming from the same private IPv4 address, effectively anonymizing all IPv6 accesses. TL;DR: everyone on IPv6 are effectively mashed as one IPv4 addresses in my logs anyway.

  • If you’ve configured your browser to send Do Not Track, I respect that

    Fathom respects Do Not Track, so will never send the relevant cookie.

  • Page accesses are logged

    Obviously, I do get info on what pages each visitor views, but I can’t and won’t correlate across visits. Correlation only occurs from within a session, and the cookie that Fathom uses to correlate page views expires 30 minutes after your last page view. But, as always, I can’t trace that back to an individual reader.

  • I don’t geolocate visits

    Fathom only aggregates visitor data, and so I have no idea where readers are from.

  • Minimal JavaScript

    Fathom needs a bit of JavaScript to work; again, Fathom is open source, and they don’t track or fingerprint users. If you’re paranoid and absolutely don’t want to get tracked, you can always block Fathom’s JavaScript (https://cdn.usesfathom.com/tracker.js). My blog will still be readable without it.

If you have an adblocker installed, it’ll probably also block my blog’s JavaScript. Again, the JavaScript that I particularly use is for Fathom, so I don’t mind you using an adblocker.

If you have any questions about tracking on my blog, feel free to feel free to drop me an email.