[wp-hackers] Revisiting phone home and privacy

Doug Stewart zamoose at gmail.com
Wed Dec 9 17:50:04 UTC 2009

On 12/9/09, Otto <otto at ottodestruct.com> wrote:
> The codex is a wiki. Feel free to create a document disclosing all
> that info if you like. Make sure to tell everybody about it too, as
> well written documents tend to get used all sorts of places.

-1 Orthogonal.

I made it very clear: the opt-out/disclosure needs to be
INTRA-WordPress. Last I checked, a copy of the Codex wasn't included
in every download of WP's source.

> There is an opt-out.

There is no opt-out. There's an extension to WordPress' functionality
provided by a third party, but there is NO opt-out provided by the

> There are disable plugins for update checks, and
> many people know about and use them. That's sort of the main complaint
> here, although I confess I don't understand how anybody thinks that you
> can check for plugin updates without sending information about the
> plugins...

You're conflating several disparate issues. I (and others) aren't
talking about this as a programming or technical concern, we're
talking about this as a social engineering/community management/Don't
Be Evil concern.  I heartily agree with your technical take on the
issue and would never handicap my installs of WordPress to the degree
such actions dictate.  That, however, is beside the point.  There are
those that for legal, procedural or even just plain paranoid reasons
find the submission of information without their knowledge or consent
to be abhorrent. (See: Beacon, The Facebook)

> Also, there's a Settings->Privacy option, which could be extended to
> also disable all update checking, for the paranoid. Make a trac ticket
> about it, see if it gets any traction.

I'll search Trac -- pretty sure such a ticket already exists, if my
memory serves.


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