Is your WordPress site embedding tracking code without your knowledge?

I just stumbled upon a couple of important articles relating to the WordPress Stats plugin available for free to all wordpress users and gives a sort of cut down Google Analytics functionality. i found the articles because i was googling as to why all of a sudden my sites were loading a file from quantserve.com, I wont rehash the details and instead link you to the 2 respective blog posts and summarise with these points, full info is available at http://www.techairlines.com/2010/12/30/wordpress-stats-quantcast/ or at http://blog.futtta.be/2010/12/15/wordpress-com-stats-trojan-horse-for-quantcast-tracking/

  • The WordPress Stats plugin now includes a call to the quantserve sites for “planned extra features”
  • They have not acknowledged the inclusion of a 3rd party data tracking script in there plugin on the plugin main page
  • they have not offered ANY opt in or opt out procedure and look to be unwilling to do so
  • The js file in question can and seems to lower website performance by a noticeable margin

However there is a solution for users of the of the WordPress Stats plugin: install this plugin made by futta which will disable all tracking possibility with quantserve (do not install if you actually use quantserve) and let the developers of the WordPress Stats plugin know that you are unhappy with the inclusion of 3rd party data tracking without your knowledge and without an opt-out facility.

I’m also going to consider asking futta to submit the plugin to the wordpress plugins database.

This problem highlights the need to be vigilant and careful about what plugins you install on your wordpress site

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