I’ve been crafting a fine tinfoil hat in response to thinking more about pervasive third party tracking. And I realized I had been a total hypocrite since I was still running Wordpress.com stats on my blogs. Even though it was “anonymous,” it adds to the pile of third-party data that is tracked for online activity. I’ve now disabled tracking from Wordpress.com stats - and with that, I think, there are no third party trackers tied to my blogs. There could be something through a plugin or something, but nothing I’ve added.

But, stats tracking is interesting and useful. Instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, I’ve decided to run my own copy of the interesting Piwik web tracking software. I think it was Scott Leslie that turned me onto Piwik as part of his summer project for tracking use of open content. It does most of the stuff that Google Analytics does (and more), and all of what Wordpress.com Stats does (and more). And it’s open source. And it runs on my own server.

The data that it tracks sits safely in my database server at the Canadian Web Hosting server farm. It will never be willingly shared with any third party. I say willingly, because it’s always possible for the server to be hacked, or for Canadian Web Hosting to be bought by someone evil who then pilfers the databases of its clients. Extremely unlikely, but possible.