Improving metrics gathering

Luis Villa luis.villa at
Thu Feb 4 23:58:31 UTC 2010

On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 3:49 PM, Paul W. Frields <stickster at> wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 04, 2010 at 03:03:21PM -0800, Luis Villa wrote:
>> On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 8:16 AM, Matt Domsch <matt at> wrote:
>> > Personally, I don't think this is a big problem.  Maybe it is.  If it
>> > were, the entire industry which uses cookies exactly for such tracking
>> > (and even more so) would have huge security, privacy, and other
>> > lawsuit concerns which I just don't hear about.  Whatever we do will
>> > have to run past Legal.
>> I'm not giving legal, or even moral, advice here, but aiming to be as
>> ethical as the internet advertising industry is a really, really low
>> bar. :)
>> I actually think collecting good usage data is really, really
>> important, and open source projects and their legal counsels would be
>> well-served to collaborate on defining best practices for this area.
>> And I think if we sat down and thought it through, we could come up
>> with best practices that would simultaneously let us gather a lot more
>> data than we currently gather, and do as good (or possibly even
>> better) by our users.
>> So I'm not trying to discourage you; I think this is great. I'm just
>> saying you don't do yourself any favors by saying 'well, the ad
>> industry gets away with it, so it is OK for us' :)
> Great point, Luis.  Matt and I took as an action item getting with our
> legal counsel, and I think it would be wonderful to approach that as a
> collaboration the way you suggest here.

I've discussed data-gathering casually with SFLC in the past, for what
it is worth, though we never went anywhere with it. Mozilla went
through a bit of soul-searching around the Test Pilot program; Mozilla
has talked about the privacy guarantees in there extensively, but I'm
not sure if the evaluation process was done publicly enough so as to
provide a checklist or process which others could follow.


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