Author Topic: Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?  (Read 10364 times)

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Offline newJason

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Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?
« on: June 06, 2013, 09:41:29 AM »
I have version 8.0.1483 free.

When I open the network shield, I can see it is monitoring network traffic. That's fine.
The problem is several tacking gif's are being triggered from that interface.

They are the google analytics tracking images and they are tracking  ..en/page/tab-security/
and are obviously describing details about the avast security interface.

the urls are too long to type out here, but the base url is
google-analytics com/_utm.gif?

Why is avast tracking the usage of this interface with image beacons?

thanks

Jason

Offline abruptum

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Re: Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2013, 10:20:43 AM »
I can confirm your findings.
I would also like to know answer to your question.

Offline -midnight

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Re: Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2013, 10:39:38 AM »
I use Ghostery to block all trackers. 

Offline abruptum

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Re: Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2013, 10:47:20 AM »
I am using ABP in Pale Moon/Firefox/Opera and AdFender in IE10 with EasyPrivacy subscription
but I believe that has nothing to do with Avast google analytics tracking.
We need answer from Avast.

Offline Johnny4745

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Re: Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2013, 05:44:53 PM »
I have version 8.0.1483 free.

When I open the network shield, I can see it is monitoring network traffic. That's fine.
The problem is several tacking gif's are being triggered from that interface.

They are the google analytics tracking images and they are tracking  ..en/page/tab-security/
and are obviously describing details about the avast security interface.

the urls are too long to type out here, but the base url is
google-analytics com/_utm.gif?

Why is avast tracking the usage of this interface with image beacons?

thanks

Jason

I would like to know why Google and Adobe trackers are allowed in the Avast Forums?  I don't know if anyone has noticed, but as soon as a post is made to these forums, the message shows up in Google search.

I just copied and pasted the title of this thread in Google search, and you can see the results below.

Attachment:

Compaq-Presario-AMD Athlon, 2700 Mhz-2GB RAM-1 Core-Windows 7 HP SP1 32 bit-Avast IS 8.0.1489
Windows Firewall on, Avast Firewall on, Router Firewall on.  Firefox-NoScript-Better Privacy extensions.

Offline ManyQs

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Re: Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2013, 06:12:02 PM »
That is just a Google bot doing its job, which is to go around the Net and collect information.  I thi nk you can see the various bots listed in the Who-Is-Online list at the bottom of the home index page.  There's nothing about that that is bad.  In fact, to help people find something during troubleshooting it is a good thing.

But it should be noted that a bot can be blocked by the site webmaster, so it's not like Google is forcing site owners to allow the bot on the site.  It's optional.

Offline Johnny4745

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Re: Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2013, 07:00:00 PM »
That is just a Google bot doing its job, which is to go around the Net and collect information.  I thi nk you can see the various bots listed in the Who-Is-Online list at the bottom of the home index page.  There's nothing about that that is bad.  In fact, to help people find something during troubleshooting it is a good thing.

But it should be noted that a bot can be blocked by the site webmaster, so it's not like Google is forcing site owners to allow the bot on the site.  It's optional.

If I'm not mistaken, I had to prove that I was not a bot when I signed up for this forum, by typing the letters and numbers that I saw in an image.  I guess that only certain bots are allowed.

It would be nice to find a company that is really concerned with the privacy of their customers, and makes money by only selling their product, and not making deals with shady companies like Google, that has been fined millions of dollars in several countries for privacy violations.
Compaq-Presario-AMD Athlon, 2700 Mhz-2GB RAM-1 Core-Windows 7 HP SP1 32 bit-Avast IS 8.0.1489
Windows Firewall on, Avast Firewall on, Router Firewall on.  Firefox-NoScript-Better Privacy extensions.

Offline ManyQs

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Re: Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2013, 01:36:08 AM »
Well, I am beginning to think that it is hard to find a company that doesn't have some shady past or present they'd like to keep hidden.  And on this bot business there are companies that are a whole lot worse than Google, or Bing, or Baidu, to name a few.  There are companies you can hire to do the bot work for you and some of those companies aren't too careful about who they hire out to.  But that is why webmasters have the options to block bots, spiders, crawlers, etc.  Sometimes it's hard to write the text that blocks them, but with a little homework it can be done 90 plus percent of the time.

But I think we have gone off the highway here and better let the OP have the road back.  I'm turning around and going back to my cozy rest area.  Cops are all over these highways looking for me.

Actually, I wonder how long it'll be before the OP gets a response.

EDIT:  While I am on this highway; -midnight, I tried to send you a thank you for something, but it was blocked.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 01:39:16 AM by ManyQs »

Offline newJason

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Re: Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2013, 01:59:02 AM »
I would like to know this as well.  I had hoped to have some sort of response by now.
So I am very curious why this thread shows up immediately in a Google search too.

Is that a function of the forum, or is avast sending a tracking gif to every page I visit or what?

Frankly I am a little surprised that I am the first one to bring this up. I first discovered this months ago after upgrading and noticing the new interface makeover.

I can't find a way to make Avast bock these url's either as they are being sent by the programs interface itself.

If Avast wants to monitor and track my activities, I think they should let me know this up front when upgrading to a new version.

I was under the impression that this was the kind of behavior Avast was trying to prevent.
Perhaps I was mistaken.


 


Offline newJason

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Re: Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2013, 12:29:14 PM »
Thanks Pondus.
I knew someone had to have seen this before me :)

I know what these trackers are and why they are used on web pages.

BUT,

my question is, why is it embedded into the AVAST program interface page and why are they tracking my clicks on the network monitor page???

Embedding analytics into a web page is one thing.
Embedding it into a security programs interface is quite another.

I'd also like to know why no one can answer this question?

what is the big secret???

Jason


Offline Vlk

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Re: Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2013, 12:47:14 PM »
Hi newJason,

And thanks for raising this question.

The reason why the avast UI contains an analytics module is to help us better understand its usage patterns. As you may remember, the UI in v8 has changed quite dramatically and we wanted to have a good way to understand how people actually use the UI, where are the hot spots, what's the typical flows, where people are dropping out etc etc. This all with the hope that it will ultimately allow us to restructure the UI in a way that will suit best most of our users. We're already taking some of these findings into account now while designing the v9 UI.

Besides that, there have always been speculations about how many people actually open the UI, how often they use it etc., and an analytics module allows us to better understand these aspects as well.

It's important to note that all this data is completely anonymized and void of any personal information.

Still, if you are uncomfortable sharing this data with us (i.e. you don't want, for any reason, us to see how you navigate through the Avast UI), there's ways to suppress this feature. Let me know if you need more details.


Thanks
Vlk
If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving's not for you.

Offline newJason

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Re: Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2013, 08:06:56 AM »
Vik,
Thank you for you candid response.
I personally have no problem with anyone  compiling data per say.
I do wish this new "feature" was mentioned to the users up front just like all the features and bug fixes are.
If it was , I obviously missed that.

I would be more than happy to provide my opinions about the new UI and how It could be improved, but asking first  IMO is the proper protocol and the right way to go about this.

Taking that information without notifying the customer is going to cause problems.

And I don't mean tucking it in a tiny sentence 32 paragraphs into a EULA that takes a normal person 3 hours to read.

You can see with the recent happenings in the news headlines in the United States for example, this is not a good way to gain popularity.

If you want feedback on how to make your product better,  I will give you this:
Keep doing what you are doing with the protection.
When you plan to implement a new feature that tracks a user,  paste it all over the cover and make it clear without a doubt what you are putting into the product so every user knows what they are getting up front.

Enough with the subterfuge and obfuscation, take the lead and do it with pride.
People will respond to transparency in a positive way.

Thank you for a great product and great service.

Jason
 

Offline Tetsuo

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Re: Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2013, 02:24:03 PM »
Hello Vlk,

Could you please tell me how to suppress this "feature" in Avast 9?

By the way, I opened a thread related to Google Analytics code in Avast 9 GUI: http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=139876.0

Kindest regards

Offline CitizenOfTheWorld

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Re: Why is avast tracking my interface usage with anaytics?
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2013, 07:37:36 PM »
Hi newJason,

And thanks for raising this question.

The reason why the avast UI contains an analytics module is to help us better understand its usage patterns. As you may remember, the UI in v8 has changed quite dramatically and we wanted to have a good way to understand how people actually use the UI, where are the hot spots, what's the typical flows, where people are dropping out etc etc. This all with the hope that it will ultimately allow us to restructure the UI in a way that will suit best most of our users. We're already taking some of these findings into account now while designing the v9 UI.

Besides that, there have always been speculations about how many people actually open the UI, how often they use it etc., and an analytics module allows us to better understand these aspects as well.

It's important to note that all this data is completely anonymized and void of any personal information.

Still, if you are uncomfortable sharing this data with us (i.e. you don't want, for any reason, us to see how you navigate through the Avast UI), there's ways to suppress this feature. Let me know if you need more details.


Thanks
Vlk

I second the request, how does one suppress this Google Analytic's module.

I'll tell you now, I use the UI extremely little, largely because I find it clunky, and disorganized, (All personal preference, of course).  I merely set it and forget it.  All updates are on manual, which is the only time I enter the UI, if I had my way, everything would be manual like the good old days, when there was no GUI, for point and clickers, and power users ruled the day.  Actually I date back to the pre-internet days of ARPANET (US DOD and NASA only).
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