Are there people who will refuse to use a website just because that site sends browser information to Google Analytics?

Could the +1 button be a red flag?

Should I expect that there would be similar thoughts around Facebook Connect?

  • 1
    I guess not. They would rather use a tool that prevents loading of these services like Do Not Track. – Gumbo Mar 18 '12 at 15:33
  • 4
    I would not use any websites that require me to log in via facebook, or that shares information with facebook. Easily blockable stuff +1 or GA are not a big issue for me, since I block them. – CodesInChaos Mar 18 '12 at 15:39
  • I think most people who are truly concerned with that aspect of their online privacy would take pro active measures to block these services. – Mark S. Mar 18 '12 at 17:32

This depends on your target group.

Like, Tweets, +1

In Germany, for example, the privacy advisor of several states have claimed that the Facebook like-button violates German privacy laws. The threats by the privacy advisor of the state Schleswig-Holstein, to fine the governmental organizations and companies, which do not remove those things, got wide media attention.

Still most people will not care at all. But if you have a target group, that is very aware of privacy issues and Facebook repeated violation of the laws, this might have a negative impact. Although it is more likely that his group is using browser extensions to suppress the social plugins anyway.

Heise developed a two clicks for more privacy approach, which only loads the social buttons after the user clicked on a placeholder.

Google Analytics

As far as Google Analytics is concerned, you can probably get similar information by analyzing the server log files. There is a number of tools available for that.

Facebook Connect, OAuth, Open ID

They can be embedded in a way, which does not send any information unless they are actually used. So instead of using the JavaScript SDK for Facebook-Connect, just add a button with a locally stored image and a plain link to the Facebook permission page.

But it may be an issue, if Facebook is the only way to authenticate.

(Since you asked about the public opinion, all links go to press coverage. Unfortunately, I am primarily aware of the press coverage in my own country, so those links go to German sites. Google Translate might be helpful).


Frankly, I think it depends entirely on what your site is doing and who the users are that are using the site.

I won't object to Analytics (I use it on my sites) or Facebook integration for things that are social in nature. But, if my bank used Google Analytics (or Facebook connect, etc) within their banking portal I'd switch banks immediately.

If I could only log in via Facebook I wouldn't use the site. In fact, I couldn't because I don't have a Facebook account.

Your question is a bit too vague to really answer otherwise.


I would imagine that Google Analytics and +1 are fine.

I would imagine that FB Connect would not deter people if you provide an alternative way to log in. On the other hand, if the only way to use the site is to log in via Facebook, then some people might avoid using your site.

I have no data or measurements to support any of these claims.

  • I discovered SRP authentication in the SE chatroom. Maybe I can offer that method as an alternative – random65537 Mar 18 '12 at 17:21
  • ? The obvious alternative to Facebook Connect is to let the user create an account with a username/password, or offer OpenID. (The mention of SRP is a bit puzzling in this context, as it is not one of the obvious alternatives that comes to mind.) – D.W. Mar 19 '12 at 0:20
  • The perspective I was coming from is OpenID Authentication, and yes that seems out of context without saying that. It would probably have been better for me to broaden my thinking and just ask about user's apprehension to dependencies on 3rd party sites... which is where I was ultimately going, but didn't finish that train of though until now. – random65537 Mar 19 '12 at 0:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.