I love web metrics (and Google Analytics), but I also love my privacy.
Over the past few weeks I assume everyone has read about the very questionable use of data by Google (NY Times article) in Germany by their "streetview cars". With respect to Facebook, barely a day goes by without this company coming under fire for the manner in which they manage user privacy.
However, as a web technologist, I want to measure user behavior. Successful eCommerce is predicated upon understanding usage patterns, and converting web visitors to customers. Web Analytics need the ability to measure the patterns of visitors to a web site. This might seem to be in conflict with data privacy concerns, thus I was extremely pleased to learn of a new effort which is able to measure web analytics without the need for a tag or cookie!
Enter Panopticlick from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Consider that your browser may be unique amongst all the millions of web users! Hard to imagine? Well ... when all the configuration issues are taken into account, I think you may be surprised. Test your own browser (or view my results).
My thanks to the Datalicious Blog which keyed me into this very intriguing idea / concept.