The Web Analytics Association, a trade group of major web analytics firms—including Webtrends, Clicktracks, and Urchin—this week issued a statement declaring that its members will open up their policies and practices for third-party review. The statement also included a condemnation of spyware and adware companies, with whom they are claiming to be unfairly grouped together.
“We kind of see it as an unfair, getting tagged with this sort of suspicion of folks that are doing bad things,” said Andrew Edwards, director of the Web Analytics Association and a managing partner at web analytics vendor Technology Leaders. The group specifically took a stand against cookies which are installed without the user’s consent and which go beyond anonymously tracking their online behavior. They refer to web analytics cookies, oppositely, as “benign” user monitors which actually provide benefits to consumers in general.
The Web Analytics Association is taking this public stance at a time when adware and spyware companies are increasingly under attack for malicious practices by the government, the press, technology experts, and increasingly intelligent anti-spyware software makers.