[wp-hackers] Revisiting phone home and privacy

Doug Stewart zamoose at gmail.com
Wed Dec 9 16:46:22 UTC 2009

On 12/9/09, Otto <otto at ottodestruct.com> wrote:
> So, what is it, precisely, that you object to with the existing data
> collection. What piece of information is being sent that you consider
> to be private and would not want to send? No theoretical arguments,
> please. You know the data being sent, it's been posted here.
> Specifically which piece concerns you, exactly? Why?

I think the big thing folks are objecting to is lack of disclosure in
the WP UI, documentation, installation process, etc.  Each WordPress
install, unless properly configured, sends back information to the
mothership, but I'd be surprised if >5% of WP users out there even
knew that was the case.

I guess the real question is: if there is a non-trivial amount of
goodwill/positive PR to be gained for the WordPress project and/or
Automattic by simply adding 1) intra-WordPress disclosure of these
submissions and 2) a simple way to opt-out, then why not add said
disclosure and opt-out mechanism.

Last I checked, WordPress' source shipped with citations for the GPLv2
but no disclosure as to information submitted.  At minimum, such a
document should exist.

You can couch the disclosure information in any way you see fit and
remind/inform folks that, by allowing this information to wend its way
to the .org's site, the community as a whole gains a greater insight
into the ways WP is being used and deployed, thus allowing for future
iterations of WP to better fit their needs and desires. *But at a
minimum there needs to be a trivial mechanism for opting out.*


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