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Stats "Don't Track" - You Cannot Satisfy Everybody

Blogger recently redesigned the Stats "Don't track ..." option - and removed third party cookies from the picture.

The "Don't track ..." wizard is now accessed from the blog URL. The wizard still produces cookies - but they are ordinary first party cookies, which are much less feared than third party cookies.

But, every silver lining has a cloud.

In making the "Don't track" wizard accessed under the blog URL, Blogger created a new requirement - which is no more understood, by some blog owners, than "third party" cookies.

"Don't track" now runs scripts from the blog URL, instead of the Blogger dashboard.

In order for a blog to observe - and preserve - the "Don't track" setting, any computer that the owner uses has to permit first party cookies - and all scripts - from the blog, instead of from the Blogger dashboard.

Since "Don't track" is designed to be used by the blog owner, this new requirement should not be a problem. Every blog owner should be able to trust herself / himself, to not add dodgy code to his / her own blog.

Owners of blogs published to custom domains will have to tweak the URL used by the "Don't track ..." Stats wizard, to set "Don't track" - since custom domains do not support HTTPS.

Many security products block scripts from personally owned blogs.

Unfortunately, general security practice is to block scripts from "blogspot.com", "blogspot.xx" (for every "xx" for every country local domain"), and preferably for blogs published to custom domains.

You can trust scripts from "blogger.com", and the Blogger dashboard. You cannot trust the individual blogs, since you cannot trust every blog owner. Even if you could trust some people not to intentionally try to hack your computer, you cannot trust everybody to not stupidly install malicious software from a very convincing hacker, providing one more "gotta have this" blog accessory.

And since you cannot trust the individual blogs, you will have filters. And those filters have to be adjusted, to trust your own blogs - if you want to ignore your own pageviews.

Some blog owners add security software, and don't know how to maintain the filters.

There are too many Blogger blog owners who have installed protective software on their personal computers - without knowing how to adjust the filters, in the protective software. And some of those owners think that it is a Blogger responsibility, to provide them instructions, how to adjust the protective software on their own computers - when only they are capable of knowing what they installed.



The new version of the Stats "Don't track" option is an improvement, because it no longer requires third party cookies - and involves the associated security risk. Unfortunately, it now requires blog owners to permit scripts, from the blogs themselves.

This is not a security risk, in that only personally owned blogs need to be trusted - but the blog owners do need to know how to adjust the filters involved. And not everybody with a computer knows how to configure their security accessories.

Comments

Still can't figure out what needs to be adjusted in the preferences to accommodate to this change.

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