Analytics Services Monitoring

Analytics services that are provided free by several vendors seem to be a wonderful tool for website owners.  The services provide interesting and sometimes useful information about the traffic the site is receiving.  Just like free email, this information provides far greater value to the service provider and may expose websites and viewers to undesired effects.

Step 1 A client requests a page from a website.
Step 2 The website responds with the HTML for the page.  This includes links to images and other media that may be on the page.  There may also be links for code such as JavaScript, Flash, Silverlight, etc.
Step 3 Typically via JavaScript or an image link a request will be made to the analytics server.  This may return nothing to the client or it may provide something of interest like a map showing where in the world requests are coming for this site.

Sometimes this request may include additional information that may normally not be sent to the website.  This information can include screen resolution, CPU part number, detailed version information about the browser and operating system, and installed browser add-ons like Flash or Silverlight.

A/B The website may use some services from the analytics provider during the page generation, for reports, or other services.

The analytics provider has gains valuable insights about clients since both the website and client are uniquely identified to the analytics server.  For each website using the service, a detailed list of all clients, their characteristics, IP address, access times are logged.

In the same way for each client a list of websites visited is assembled so much can be derived about the client by what kind of sites the client views, when, and from where.

By depositing a cookie when the analytics server is visited by the client, any website that uses the analytics service gives the service the links to all others for that client.

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ShofarPortfolio™ ● Diagrams from 2012
How Advertising Works
How Email Works

How Free Email is Monitored

Web Page Monitoring

ISP Monitoring

How Governments Monitor

How Search Services Monitor

Analytics Services Monitoring

Email Beacon Monitoring

How Corporations Monitor Users

DNS Monitoring and Redirection

ISP Monitoring

Services Monitoring


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