Since #GDPR and the rise of privacy awareness, keeping trackers on your website is like betting climate change won’t impact you. 

Google Analytics is already weakened by Brave browser, ad blockers, browsers extensions… Later this year, a single change in Safari (this one: fosstodon.org/@markosaric/1043) will impact keep away much more users (canistop.net/b/ios_saf) from Google data harvesting!

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Go for alternatives like @Matomo, fathomhq.com, plausible.io (by @markosaric), simpleanalytics.com. Ship less JS or use back-end tracking. Or even use no tracking at all!

At work we’re self-hosting Matomo: 1) higher numbers (less blocking) 2) GDPR+privacy 3) you win clients because they love 1 and they fear messing with 2.

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Unfortunately we often have to add crap (Google, Facebook…) on top of Matomo on client request.

But when a client says “our marketing team observed a drop in Google Analytics, blablabla”, our data are closer to reality than the Google Analytics one.

Eat this, marketing dpt.!

And this 👆 happened several times.

As a developer, your role is to work for the user and against people wanting trackers, not the other way.

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Our manager was already dealing with GDPR compliancy. So connecting the dots between GDPR and Matomo was common sense and convinced him.

Always ask yourself why you want the data and what they enable. If they don’t enable anything, they’re just noise and vanity, and you’re probably already sending too much JS to the user.

It’ll be hard. Sometimes you’ll win, sometimes not, but it’s worth doing it (step by step).

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Also, you’ll have to educate people inside of your company (and yourself). A lot.

Example: our social media dpt. unilaterally decided today that I had to urgently tenfold the JS payload by adding a Facebook pixel tracker and a LinkedIn one on the company’s website.

Lost cause: as I know they’re always last minute, I told them it couldn’t be done before end of months. “So let’s forget it for now.” But it means I’ll have to discuss why they want this, what it enables… Which is already boring. :p

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