I employ the open source tool, Matomo to track the number of hits to the website. I do not do any user tracking whatsoever. I accomplish this by doing the following in the Matomo settings:
- Planting no cookies whatsoever
- Not storing IP addresses
- Deleting raw data documenting those hits older than 30 days
- Only saving the referring URL
By doing the above, I do not track users invasively but can still get an idea of the amount of traffic to the site, what pages are being viewed the most, and how users are finding the site.
I launched Surveillance Today on Substack but migrated to Ghost largely because Substack tracks every email open, link click, and page view and presents that data for each individual subscriber to the newsletter owner. Ghost on the other hand currently only tracks whether or not a user opens an email. That can simply be blocked by configuring your email client to not load remote content. Wired provides a great explanation of that here.
Beyond that, I can see subscribers names (if provided), email addresses, and location (based on IP address when you log in). I personally only care about the number of subcribers and the percent of those subscribers that are opening the emails, though I realize that statistic may be skewed based on the recommendation I just made in the paragraph above.
If you do not want to be associated with you subscription, I suggest using a disposable email service such as 33mail.
To distribute the audio for Surveillance Today, I leverage Anchor which is owned by Spotify. Unfortunately, the analytics there can be quite invasive, but I have taken measures to deactivate the most invasive tracking such as the tracking of age and gender, because why do I need that?
Similar to the newsletter, I care about how many downloads each episode is getting and the estimated size of the average listening audience.
Services in Use
Below are the services used on Surveillance Today and links to their individual privacy policies: