published by Holger Bartel on
After I read this article I started thinking about tracking again. I suppose most of the time we don’t actively think about it, since it has gotten so normal. But when you do, you start to realise… I don’t like the word “tracking” much anymore and it says exactly what is wrong with the internet. Tracking: You. Are. Being. Tracked.
Hello, I’m Tracker. Let me introduce myself and tell you what I do: I follow you when you leave your house. I follow you down the street. I enter every shop you visit. I walk further down the street with you. I take notes of what you do, what you look at, how you look and what you're wearing. I enter the same bar as you do. I watch what you are ordering, I write it down. You leave the bar and I do the same. And on it goes. How do you feel about that? But wait, it’s not a problem at all. I have this magic cape and you can’t really see me. Only if you know how to spot my cape you can get a glimpse of me. But hey, only very few people know how to spot my cape, because you need to be an expert. You might still know I’m there, but I hide so well for most of you who don’t really know and understand me, you will soon forget about me again. I love my pretty cape.
You then go back home. You are very friendly, you even let me enter your house. It’s pretty, too. Just like my cape. You sometimes even show me around. I watch what you are doing. And again, I write it all down and take notes, so I can understand what you like and what you don’t like and also when you like it.
What once was a simple view and interest into visitor statistics of our sites has evolved into such a nasty practice.
While everyone claims that tracking makes everyone’s experiences so much better, these practices aren’t only bad for privacy or security reasons, they slow down your web and my web by a more than noticeable amount of time due to third party scripts creating additional http(s) requests. Judging by some of the advertising some platforms show to us, it’s sometimes questionable how much of it really works.
The final question remains: Is the outcome really worth the cost?
FYI: This site does not track you in any way, nor use analytics software.