Why beeing 'privacy friendly' is not enough.

Read the full version of this article on the Offen blog.

Terms such as 'privacy-first', 'privacy-focused' or 'privacy friendly' have been frequently used in the field of web analytics for some time now. They appear on landing pages, in blog posts and readme files. Alternative projects such as Matomo, Simple Analytics, Plausible or GoatCounter are no exception. But what do all these 'privacy' terms actually mean?

The impression arises that developers use these terms primarily to describe technical features. There is the 'we do not use cookies' approach as well as the 'essential cookies only' solution. Others would like to let you know that they 'do not sell your data' or that their application is 'GDPR compliant'. Operators are given the feeling that they are doing something really great for their users. Annoying banners are eliminated, data is not passed on to third parties and also the 'GDPR problem' is solved. What more could you ask for?

Well, all these 'privacy friendly' approaches are an improvement, but not enough to create a significantly better web. Often the necessary level of fairness is missing. Users still cannot access their data, not to mention delete it. So they are still unaware of their situation and the latent distrust towards web operators remains. A problem that GDPR addresses explicitly under the headline 'Rights of the data subject'.

This is why we are developing Offen. A fair and open web analytics tool that treats operators and users equally. Usage data is only collected after opt-in. If users choose to opt-in, they have full access to their data and can delete it. The collected data is presented to the user with detailed explanations of its meaning. At the same time, operators can gain valuable insights without violating the privacy of their users.

By the way, Offen is now in beta phase. Please take a look and give it a try.

It is time to go one step further. We want to build a web that is finally privacy friendly and fair. Are you as enthusiastic about this as we are? Drop us a tweet or email and feel invited to work together to drive this idea forward.

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