[theme-reviewers] tracking code in themes

Sayontan Sinha sayontan at gmail.com
Fri Mar 9 20:28:17 UTC 2012

The "adherence to free software philosophy" cuts both ways. Take a look
here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/akismet/stats/. The pie chart
there tells you about active versions, and this is provided by WP for all
its plugins, *without the informed consent of the end user*. One might
argue that WordPress is not a "third party", but that doesn't change the
fact that users never provide their consent to let WP mine information on
which version of a plugin they will use.

While as a theme and plugin developer, and as a user I don't particularly
care where this discussion lands (I am never going to add tracking code
myself but I am perfectly okay if WP introduces this in the repository), it
does seem like this team is trying to propose something that WP doesn't
adhere to by itself. Of course, I am certain that PII such as web site
information etc. aren't collected, but this is a privacy gray area


On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 12:01 PM, Chip Bennett <chip at chipbennett.net> wrote:

> The very act of pinging a third party upon activation of a Theme - and
> doing so without the informed consent of the end user - is a violation of
> the free-software principle that users have the right to use software "*without
> being required to communicate about it with the developer or any other
> specific entity*".
> The rest of your arguments still miss the fundamental point that the issue
> here is not the usefulness/benefit of the service, but rather that the *informed
> consent of the end user* is paramount, and is required, both as a matter
> of adherence to free software philosophy and also as a matter of
> wordpress.org policy.
> Chip

Sayontan Sinha
http://mynethome.net | http://mynethome.net/blog
Beating Australia in Cricket is like killing a celebrity. The death gets
more coverage than the crime.
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