Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Anonymous Statistic Gathering

In release 1.5 Greasemonkey will add anonymous statistic gathering.  This feature will be opt in only.  Users will be asked to opt in, but no data will be transmitted unless they do.

For users that do opt in, a randomly generated persistent ID will identify this Greasemonkey installation as being distinct from others, and then certain data will regularly be gathered and transmitted to a central server for analysis along with this ID.  The goal is to improve Greasemonkey by better understanding how real users go about using it.

We intend to collect data like:
  • How many user scripts are installed
  • Which internet sites those scripts were installed from
  • What sort of API features those scripts use
  • What sort of Greasemonkey features users actually exercise
  • The exact browser and operating system that Greasemonkey is running on
We have written a privacy policy to explain exactly how this data will be used.  The short version, however, is that we never intend to share this data in anything but an aggregated form.  For an example of the sort of aggregated data we mean, see the Greasemonkey API Usage post.

To control this feature, a new check box is being added to the Greasemonkey Options dialog.

If you opt yourself in and later want to opt back out, or vice versa, you can use this check box.  The Greasemonkey Options dialog can be found through the monkey menu, in Tools > Greasemonkey > Greasemonkey Options, or the Preferences button for Greasemonkey in the Add-Ons manager.