So there was a discssion going on around ‘user tracking’ and such over in the Tomcat Forum. I was going to reply, but decided to breakout that out here for those interested, as I happen to be a web data analyst for a living, and I figured:
And before you get worried, know I have cratered significantly fewer powerpoint presentations than I have virtual airplanes
Our resident courageous amphibian is half correct, MudSpikes Analytics package is Google Analytics (GA), so says Ghoestry:
To be clear, I don’t have access to the Mudspike GA profile, but I’ve worked with this tool across various clients for the past 10 years, so the high level points are the same for every instance
And GA tracks Pageviews, Sessions, and Users. This is done via cookies. Basically GA tags your machines cookie so it knows you’ve been here, and uses that to determine all the server calls you’re making came from the same machine. If more than a half hour goes by betwixt calls from a given machine, GA considers you to be a “new session”, but still 1 unique user. If you clear your cookies and come back, GA thinks you’re a new user.
(Half hour is the default, this time range can be adjusted)
IP addresses are tracked by GA, but only googles server sees them, there is no way for anyone using GA to see the IP address of their users . GA’s back end uses IP mainly to:
- Determine your rough geographic location (in US, down to zip code)
- Help filter against a list of known IPs the administrator of the analytics package can setup (eg. a web developer wanting to filter themselves our of traffic measurement, so site tests don’t artificially increase traffic).
- Google maintains a list of know bots/spider IPs (malignant or otherwise), and actively filters this from reported data if you opt into this service. It’s not perfect, but on sites where I’ve see run without this opt-in filtering, the data looks way wonkier.
Also, as a note on ad blocker: ad blocker usage is at about 15-30% of internet users. Source: :https://www.adweek.com/digital/iab-study-says-26-desktop-users-turn-ad-blockers-172665/
As far as disabling user Tracking, @fearlessfrog, are you saying you did this in GA, or did this for the site proper? Asking because GA doesn’t really ‘care’ about a user logging into the forum/website when it tracks sessions/uses, it only ‘cares’ about cookies, unless there’s some plugin you’re using to connect the two on adeeper level.
That all being said, GA isn’t collecting any User Identifiable info (eg. your username, posts, password, etc). You are just an anonymous machine, located in a given zip code, with a collection of pageviews and sessions against it.