[wp-hackers] Proposal: Add a Privacy Option: Anonymise Updates

Peter Westwood peter.westwood at ftwr.co.uk
Wed Sep 26 13:51:39 GMT 2007

Callum Macdonald wrote:
> I realise there's been a lot of noise on this subject. Let's try to keep
> this thread short and on-topic. If you support my proposal, say so, if
> you don't, say so. No need for detailed reasons, I'm assuming they've
> already been explained elsewhere.
> * Add an option to the Options > Privacy tab
> * Option name "Updates"
> * Option choice 1: "WordPress should check for updates automatically and
> send my blog url."
> * Option choice 2: "WordPress should check for updates automatically but
> *not* send my blog url."
> * Option choice 3: "WordPress should not check for updates."
> * Then the text: "For more on how this information is used, see the
> Privacy Policy" - link to the policy online.
> All those in favour say aye, etc... :)

I am against this, for the following reasons:

* One of the core design ideas for WordPress is that we don't introduce
options lightly.  The moment you think of making a feature optional you
challenge the argument for introducing the feature in the beginning.

* Plugin update notification is the number one requested feature from
the Ideas section of wordpress.org - The community has spoken and this
is something that they want.

* The core admin user interface should only contain options for things
that we expect the majority of our users to want to twiddle with. All
other optionality should be provided using the filter/hook system which
allows for advanced users to disable features they don't want.  This is
to ensure that you don't intimidate the naive user.

* If we want to provide the option for the tin-foil-hat privacy brigade
to hide there blog url in outgoing requests from WordPress then
implementing a centralised UserAgent generator ( as suggested here:
http://trac.wordpress.org/ticket/5065) with a filter to allow plugins to
remove parts of the UserAgent string as required is probably the correct
solution - this gives you a single hook with which to engage your
tin-foil-hat.  This ensures that your "private" data cannot leak out in
any direction be it wordpress.org / pingomatic / technorati etc.

Peter Westwood

More information about the wp-hackers mailing list