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From Mario Ivankovits <ima...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Any legal issues with Google Analytics?
Date Sun, 14 Sep 2008 17:13:33 GMT
>> Not that I'd keep the web-server statistic private, the opposite, 
>> having a statistics page on the website itself would be great.
>> But why use Google to aggregate that and hand out the browsing 
>> behavior of OUR clients for free?
> for free? I think Google Analytics is a great service and you get it 
> "for free". In fact you "pay" the great service by sharing your users 
> browsing behaviour. I think it is fair.
No, I think it is not. Collecting personal information to create 
profiles is very questionable. I wonder why so many people already are 
used to that.

> If you know better solutions (same quality/easy of use) that is for 
> free and does not require you to share the browsing behaviour then it 
> is welcome. But for this we would need to host an ASF internal 
> tracking server and:
> 1) There is no free tracking package with the same features of google 
> analytics.
> 2) This would not come for free: you have to pay the hardware and the 
> people that mantain the software.
I am not sure if it is as feature full as Google Analytics, but awstats 
[1] did a great job for us already. I am pretty sure the Apache 
Infrastructure Team is able to install that one day if we commit to that.

> Furthermore I'm not sure I follow you. You say that whatever statistic 
> we collect should be made public.
No, not whatever, only the statistic we are interested in. Which might 
not allow to collect deeper informations about personal behavior as this 
data has been anonymized (e.g. cookie data is not available by such 

>> I like Google, but a line needs to be drawn.
>> Just my 2 cent.
> Here we are talking about legal-issues. Once we know there are no 
> legal issues each PMC will decide on its own what they want from 
> google and what they are willing to give in trade.
You might compare Google Analytics with donations like JIRA. Just, with 
JIRA you know exactly what you get and are in full control of it. One 
piece of software, fully usable and controllable on your own network and 
server. The benefit the Atlassian guys have is free advertising. 
Something I can live with.

With Google Analytics, a "free" piece of software you do NOT know what 
you pay for. Or in other words: You do NOT know how much money they make 
out of that data.
As a technical aspect, I also have seen sites slow down whith Google 
Analythics enabled due to some bandwith problems on Google side.

Well, we at Apache give software at a very liberal license. The question 
is if it is according to our rules letting a 3rd party making money with 
our data, regardless how sexy their application is.

In fact, I see a legal question for Apache when using this Google 
service: Are we as non-profit organisation allowed to allow another 
commercial oriented company to gather that detailed statistics they can 
make money with?
I think making use of this service requires Apache to sort out such a 
question first, no?
At least, I think it is not our "style".


[1] http://awstats.sourceforge.net/

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