[theme-reviewers] tracking code in themes

Chip Bennett chip at chipbennett.net
Fri Mar 9 20:35:59 UTC 2012


As with the JetPack reference: you're preaching to the choir

If I may invoke the words of mothers everywhere:* two wrongs do not make a
right*. Just because WordPress itself isn't disclosing to my satisfaction
with respect to data collected via api.wordpress.org doesn't mean that the
Theme repository has to allow similar lack of proper disclosure.



On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 2:28 PM, Sayontan Sinha <sayontan at gmail.com> wrote:

> Chip,
> 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
> nonetheless.
> Sayontan.
> 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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