Website owners use web analytics tools to monitor their performances, to understand what their audiences like, and what they can improve. For years, they relied on third-party cookies and trackers, giving away their visitors' privacy to giant tech companies in exchange for these precious insights. This is about to change for good.
We are releasing a new Ruby gem called active_analytics. It is a simple first-party tool to inform Ruby on Rails website owners without compromising their visitors' privacy.
No cookies, no trackers
Thanks to GDPR and other customer protection laws, third-party cookies may come to an end. Hopefully, those unbearable cookie consent banners could also soon be history, when all website owners realize nobody is clicking “Yes, I think Google and Facebook are not rich and evil enough.”, or “Please give me more creepily relevant ads”.
Strangely enough, when people are given the choice to not being tracked, they choose not to be tracked.
Apple is also acting to help people block that privacy-invading bits of code, making Facebook super angry. It is working pretty well, as 96% of people being asked if they want to be tracked by Facebook answer NO.
Google is preparing for a cookie-less world with floc, or “cohort analysis”. Privacy-conscious website owners are already implementing measures to block it.
Privacy-focused Google Analytics alternative tools, like Plausible, Fathom or Simple Analytics have flourished over the recent years. They are pretty cool, and encounter great success as more and more people are looking for tools that do not sell their customers' moms.
Metrics like unique users, session duration or bounce rate are flawed. There is no way to precisely measure that. Referral spam makes you falsely believe your application is popular and can be a nightmare to block.
Active Analytics: simple open-source first-party analytics for Ruby on Rails applications.
Active analytics is first-party. You mount it in your own Rails app and decide yourself where you can access the data, yourdomain.com/analytics for example.
It doesn’t collect any personal data. It cannot be blocked by adblockers and other privacy-protecting extensions. It is compliant with all privacy laws and doesn’t require you to add a cookie consent banner.
It only gives basic information about what is going on in your web application: which pages are viewed and what are the sources leading to that pages. It also shows where people go from a given page. It never reveals anything about specific visitors.
This is probably enough. Marketers may cry for a while, but sooner or later, they will have to adapt anyway.
It is open source. You can install the gem and view the source code. You are very welcome to contribute or to provide us with your feedback on Twitter.