I’ve decided to add some analytics to my site via the open-source
analytics app Matomo (formerly Piwik) – but via
a tracking image in the footer below. You can “see” it as the
“invisible” 1x1 pixel image linked from
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), I’ve configured Matomo to anonymize IP addresses by omitting the last octet from IP addresses. I also don’t correlate between IP address and visits, as I don’t send cookies.
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
Matomo has a knob that respects the Do Not Track header; I’ve enabled it, so you won’t show up as a visitor in Matomo.
Operating System and Browser details are logged
I’d like to see what browsers, operating systems, and devices my readers are using. Matomo does provide me with an aggregate view of these details, and each logged visit does have that info. However, I don’t, can’t, and won’t fingerprint my readers based on these details – seriously, I don’t care enough to know, and the aggregate view is enough for me.
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. Some correlation inevitably happens though, at least from the same (anonymized) IP addresses. But, as always, I can’t trace that back to an individual reader.
I don’t geolocate visits
Although Matomo has a configuration for geolocation, I’ve opted not to use it, broadly speaking. I do sometimes check via
whoiswhich ISP owns the IP block a visitor is coming from – which gives me a hint of what country a visitor is from (maybe).
Outside of that? I have no idea where you are, or who you are.
Since I use the image tag tracker, I don’t run anything on your device, and therefore can’t and won’t fingerprint you. Outside of the details that your browser already sends with every request (operating system, browser, device), I can’t track back to an individual visitor.
If you have any questions about tracking on my blog, feel free to feel free to drop me an email.