Piwik Web Analytics Addresses IP Address Privacy Concerns
Web site operators switch to Piwik for web analytics to comply with Germany’s privacy laws over the controversial storage of visitor IP addresses.
Lyon, France (Press Release) — Apr 16, 2010 — German web site operators are flocking to Piwik, an open source, self-hosted web analytics platform. To comply with local laws, Piwik users can now configure the free software to mask visitor IP addresses, similar to the masking of a credit card number when printed on a receipt.
Robert Dürhager – Online Communications Manager of the internationally active charity organization Oxfam, states,
Silvia Frank, press relations officer of the medium-sized German company Univention, a manufacturer of Open Source software, says,
“We have been using Piwik for over a year now. With Piwik, we can analyse visitor streams on our website which helps us to find out about our popular sites and gives us hints where it needs optimisation. A special highlight in Piwik is the simple possibility to measure the success and performance of online campaigns which we deliver on third party websites. Also, we appreciate the feature of the “anonymity analytics”: we can gather all relevant data for our statistics without capturing an individual’s IP addresses.
Web site operators in Germany have found themselves in legal limbo following a series of rulings by Germany’s courts. Beginning in 2007, Berlin cases concluded that IP addresses in conjunction with other data could be considered personal information. A 2008 Munich case stated that IP addresses in isolation were not personal information. Meanwhile, Germany’s data protection commissioner, Peter Schaar, is on the record as stating that if a person is identifiable by an IP address, then it is personal information. Recently, in November 2009, a Dusseldorf court reaffirmed the Berlin decisions.
Adding to the debate, concerns have been raised about the potential legal liability (and lack of indemnification), data retention periods, and the exportation of web analytics to third party service providers located outside of Germany, such as Google.
The overwhelming response to Piwik and the AnonymizeIP feature has been very positive. And thanks to web developer, Peter Boehlke, the German version of Piwik.org is now available at http://de.piwik.org. “With Germany being the largest Piwik local community, translating the website in German made a lot of sense,” says Matthieu Aubry, founder and lead developer of the Piwik project. “The software itself is already translated in 36 languages and growing!”
Piwik is the world’s leading open source web analytics software. Used by more than 30,000 websites across the Internet, Piwik is growing as a serious open source alternative to Google Analytics. Piwik is translated into 36 languages and used in more than 100 countries. Piwik can be configured to respect Websites visitors privacy. For more information, please visit piwik.org.
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