How product usage tracking can compromise privacy


  • Community Manager

    Innocent feature tracking can quickly turn into unacceptable user behavior monitoring, user profiling and a money-spinner for a company. Tarquin Wilton-Jones, Security Expert at Vivaldi, describes how.

    Click here to see the full blog post


  • Moderator

    Reminds me of a story about a company that once did a massive re-work of their primary software. Based on user tracking metrics, which had often been turned off by more advanced users, it showed that certain features (like bookmarks) were not used by many people.

    So the company decided it was fine to remove bookmarks. It turned out lots of people, those that had turned off the metrics, did use bookmarks quite extensively. And were very vocal about their sudden removal. But because the company relied solely on the metrics and not actually asking what users wanted, it resulted in quite the brouhaha.

    The moral of the story is that, putting aside privacy issues (something you should never do anyway), relying solely on metrics doesn't always tell the whole story.


  • Ambassador

    I have no illusions of achieving absolute privacy on the network, which I consider impossible.But I do have the right to make it as difficult as possible to block these traces by certain companies. To my grace this phrase is so used, "to improve the user experience", which almost always only improves the experience of these companies, making money with our data.



  • @LonM said in How product usage tracking can compromise privacy:

    Reminds me of a story about a company that once did a massive re-work of their primary software. Based on user tracking metrics, which had often been turned off by more advanced users, it showed that certain features (like bookmarks) were not used by many people.

    I once knew a company like that. I stopped using their product because, while dumbing down re-writing it they completely abandoned the feature that made them unique and which was the main thing that kept me using it.

    I've been testing this other software as a replacement. It's very good, and I like everything about it so far. Can't wait for them to finally implement the feature they promised years ago... you know - the one that got cut out of the software I had to abandon and the main reason I tried the new one. Wonder "When It's Ready". HmmmM3...


  • Ambassador

    @lonm said:

    The moral of the story is that... relying solely on metrics doesn't always tell the whole story.

    I think I used that company's product and extensively used their novel "Bookmarks" feature. Of course I also happened to be one of those who had turned off tracking metrics.
    When their version 13 came out without this Bookmarking feature I vented to them and others then reverted to version 12.



  • A very good article describing a difficult balance. So many companies do not respect the trust that users place in them - often quite presumptively, but that should be all the more reason to treasure it rather than abuse it. Sheesh! (Yeah, I know that sounds naive. Some - increasingly rare - days, I am still an idealist.)

    Of course one company's loss can be another's gain. A certain product screwed me on Bookmark features (just the most recent of several such changes) and so I came looking and found Vivaldi. Mostly very happy to have made the change, and there's stuff here I didn't know I was missing .


  • Moderator

    Congratulations, great article that should make you think, especially users who do not use Vivaldi.


  • Ambassador

    @Folgore101 , although neither Vivaldi can guarantee privacy, if the user himself continues searching with Google and participating in Facebook, the main trackers. Besides, it cannot protect if the user is careless with his private data. Common sense is always the best protection in the network.


  • Moderator

    @Catweazle If a user uses Facebook, it means that he is not very interested in privacy. I think the article is more focused on the seriousness of those who provide the Browser, and with the Vivaldi Team i feel confident enough from this point of view. I share that then users must be aware when surfing the Internet, regardless of browser + extensions they use.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to Vivaldi Forum was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.