How the Widget stole your privacy
So many bloggers are using it, including me (depending on when you are reading this). The widget in question here is FEEDJIT. Not the harmless one below my Followers list, but the one further down the rightmost column below the Blog Networks Badge. While some feel it's a fast way to get them to leave your blog, others see it as an infringement of their privacy. In case you still haven't noticed, FEEDJIT shows YOUR location (City), and the address of the page where you clicked on my Blog's Link. If you click on 'Watch in Real-Time', you'll see your as well as the previous 50 visitors' location, Browser (Name and version), Operating System (Name and version), the precise URL of the page from which they arrived on my page (and precisely which one), and the exact time when they did so. You can also see at what point of time they clicked on which of the links present on my page. And, in case they arrived via a search engine, it'll also tell you the query searched. Sample this:
This may not seem that offensive initially, but consider this. A certain friend of mine lives in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, and most other friends of mine know about her. The time when she visits my blog, how much time she spends surfing it, which links does she exit from, is all visible to my friends, since I do not have many readers from Srinagar, and not many Linux users amongst them as well. She wants to remove her traces from the Widget, but surely wouldn't dream that she'd have to click on "Watch in Real-Time" first, from where she'll get an option to remove her IP. And by the way, she has to do that every time she visits my blog. Supposedly, FEEDJIT also has an option to ignore all future visits from being recorded, but fnding the "ignore my browser" button is more difficult than finding Sudan on a World Map. Besides, this works one-site-at-a-time, so you have to activate this cookie every time you visit a new FEEDJIT-enabled site. And in case you clean your cookies often, you're back to square one each time.
In case you are wondering why I've put FEEDJIT at all, or why I posted this all of a sudden, it's actually because recently a friend told me he prefers reading my blog feeds rather than visit it due to the presence of this widget. As I found out, there were indeed many annoyed by this widget and uncomfortable with it's presence on any website, especially blogs.
While the opting out option is practically invisible, would it matter even if it was visible? Would you have clicked if there were an opt-in option instead of opt-out? I would let FEEDJIT remain there for a week more from now for you to see before removing it. Comments and views are welcome.