[theme-reviewers] tracking code in themes
chip at chipbennett.net
Thu Mar 8 20:17:16 UTC 2012
Roughed-in Privacy guidelines:
These privacy guidelines are adapted from the Plugin guidelines regarding
"phoning home". Please comment so we can revise/improve, as necessary.
I've renamed "Theme Settings and Data Security" as "Security and Privacy",
with "Theme Settings and Data Security" and "Privacy" being sub-sections
under this guideline.
On Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 1:53 PM, Chip Bennett <chip at chipbennett.net> wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 1:38 PM, Trent Lapinski <trent at cyberchimps.com>wrote:
>> It is truly a shame you guys have already made the decision to restrict
>> PressTrends use from WordPress.org without any discussion, or reason.
> Nothing is being restricted. You are free to use PressTrends in your WPORG
> repository-hosted Theme. We're merely stipulating that you have to
> *disclose* to end users that the Theme is using this service, and that you
> have to allow end users to *opt-in* to use of this service.
>> There is absolutely nothing wrong with knowing how many people are using
>> your themes, and what version numbers they are using. In fact, I wish
>> WordPress.org itself provided this kind of data publicly.
> I refer you to Free Software philosophy<http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html>
> [*emphasis *added]:
> The freedom to run the program means the freedom for any kind of person or
> organization to use it on any kind of computer system, for any kind of
> overall job and purpose, *without being required to communicate about it
> with the developer or any other specific entity*. In this freedom, *it is
> the user's purpose that matters, not the developer's purpose*; you as a
> user are free to run the program for your purposes, and if you distribute
> it to someone else, she is then free to run it for her purposes, but *you
> are not entitled to impose your purposes on her*.
> Simply put: you, as a developer, do not have the right to this information
> without the user's informed consent.
>> There is absolutely no private information that is garnered from
> Themes containing the PressTrends tracking code track the following
> information only: number of posts published, number of comments, blog name,
> theme version, site url, and the number of plugins.
> Those data, in that combination, ARE potentially personally identifiable.
>> This isn't a privacy issue, and the metrics it does gather are extremely
>> valuable to theme developers.
> Whether such data constitute a privacy concern is a matter for each end
> user to decide for him/herself.
>> The only thing PressTrends "tracks" is theme activations of what theme
>> version number of the theme is being activated, the average number of
>> posts, comments, and plugins, and abandonment rates telling you if people
>> have stopped using the theme after 30-days.
>> I have absolutely no problem disclosing this better in our documentation,
>> but to make it an option that has to be enabled makes the data it does
>> gather pretty much useless.
> Useless to whom: the end user, or the developer? If the service is useful
> to the end user, then make the usefulness argument to end users. If the
> service is *not* useful to the end user, then it absolutely should not be
> enabled by default.
>> It enables us to see if our users are upgrading their themes to the
>> latest versions, and gives us insight into those who stop using our themes.
>> Having to turn PressTrends off by default and then asking users to enable
>> it as a theme option makes the data useless because you will only get
>> activation numbers from people who enable the theme option which means they
>> are already using and configuring your theme.
>> If this is truly a requirement, this should be in the theme review
> Certainly. I will copy the similar policy wording from the Plugin
> repository <http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/about/guidelines/> (see
> #7: No "phoning home"), and find the appropriate place for it in the Theme
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