[wp-hackers] Revisiting phone home and privacy

Lynne Pope lynne.pope at gmail.com
Mon Dec 7 05:08:44 UTC 2009

Back in 2007 we had some huge arguments over the phone home "features" of WP
There appeared to be general agreement that sending the blog URL to
WordPress was unnecessary and that querying for updates did not require the
disclosure of personally indentifying information.

At that time, Matt said (
this would be reviewed:

URLs are useful unique identifiers and in my opinion the best one to use on
> the web. You can normalize them, organize them by domains and subdomains,
> look for odd characters or paths, create stats by TLDs, map them to hosting
> providers, use them as a basis for a crawl, and associate them with
> WordPress.org profiles. MD5s are unique, but don't have a lot of value
> beyond that, and even a capitalization or trailing slash change will change
> the whole MD5. There are also things I think we haven't imagined yet that
> could make URLs useful. Maybe a .org toolbar that ties into your .org
> profile and makes it easy to manage multiple blogs and tie them together. If
> by the time 2.5 comes around we're still not doing anything useful with it
> then we can re-examine it.

In the absence of any statement on wordpress.org to tell users what data is
being collected and how it is being used, I would like to know if WordPress
has found any need to collect blog URL's?  If it has, then this should be
disclosed, if it has not then perhaps we should be replacing the blog URL
with an anonymous identifier.

People are even more aware of privacy now than they were in 2007. Revisiting
this is overdue.


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