No Google Analytics For Firefox

By Erik Vold

Sometime during the last weekend I managed to spend a night trying to use nsIContentPolicy (which allows one to observe network requests before they start and possibly reject/block them) in a jetpack for Firefox.

NO Google Analytics

In a strange flash of inspiration I made NO Google Analytics, which is using nsIContentPolicy to block requests for the ga.js javascript file that collects your information and stores it in cookies, and this add-on will block requests for Google Analytics __utm.gif which is used to transport the tracking information to Google. Often this __utm.gif image is referred to as “the invisible gif” because it is only 1 transparent pixel, and it can be used to track users even without ga.js which many users of NoScript already block thinking that does something, and webdevs have long ago worked around.

The source code and issue tracker for this add-on is on github.

Comparison to Google Analytics Opt-out add-on

Google provides a Google Analytics Opt-out add-on, which they claim will do the following:

The add-on instructs the Google Analytics JavaScript not to send any information about the website visit to Google Analytics.

The problem with this is that their code is not open source, and it is not reviewed by anyone because Google doesn’t want it to be. They just want you to trust them, so do you?

Anyhow Google doesn’t even claim to block anything, so webdevs can still work around this opt-out add-on so far as I can tell.

Thanks Alex and Loic

I big thanks needs to go out to Alex Poirot and Loic Duros, their previous exploration using nsIContentPolicy meant I had to do very little to get this add-on working.

On that note I’ve started a content-policy module to expand on the work Loic and Alex have done and make it easier to reuse, the module can be found on github as usual, and I will be blogging about it more after I write some tests and documentation for it.