Multiple Trackers on this - a security product! - site.

  • 8 February 2022
  • 3 replies
  • 48 views

I have a couple of tracker-blocking/reporting addons installed in my browser: Privacy Badger from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and uBlock Origin. Both report multiple trackers on the pages on the Webroot Community forum.

Privacy Badger, for instance, reports that there are four sites it is blocking:

fonts.gstatic.com,  platform.twitter.com,  www.google-analytics.com,  js-agent.newrelic.com

As you can see, none of those tracking sites have anything to do with Webroot’s business so it’s puzzling to me why they are allowing them here, especially since they advertise themselves to be one of the best computer security products on the market. It certainly makes you wonder just how secure they really are when they allow unrelated third parties to track us here.


3 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hey there @Canuck-Ken ,

I can appreciate that you’re being extra careful by using these tracking-blocker add-ons in your browser - Those are great for helping you stay safe and customizing your webpage experience.

Fonts.gstatic.com for example is a google API that allows the website to use a variety of fonts and language translations. You can read more about that here: https://developers.google.com/fonts/faq

We use google analytics to record a host of useful data such as how visitors got here, how long they stay on the website, and where they are clicking. This is a very standard process and you’d be hard pressed to find a website or company that doesn’t utilize google analytics in some way. 

js-agent.newrelic is another tool we use to track website performance data. It’s similar to google analytics with a few extra purposes. I’ve found some threads on other forums that refer to it being blocked by certain add-ons but it is not malware and it is not invasive by any means.

I believe platform.twitter.com is a tool used by our social media and marketing team to determine some engagement metrics and tracks what kind of discussions people are having about our product. This helps us identify trending issues.

 

I hope this clears up any concerns you have! 

Thanks for the explanation @khumphrey.

In fact it increases my concern. I understand why Webroot, or any other vendor, would be attracted to such services. My problem is that it’s extremely rare that you would have an exclusive contract with them. They will also be using everything they capture for their own financial purposes.

Those services may provide useful information for Webroot but they expose your customers to a security issues. That is a particular concern when you are a developer of security products.

If you were not aware that they also keep and sell the information they capture from your customers, that concerns me even more.

...ken...

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

 

I have a couple of tracker-blocking/reporting addons installed in my browser: Privacy Badger from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and uBlock Origin. Both report multiple trackers on the pages on the Webroot Community forum.

Privacy Badger, for instance, reports that there are four sites it is blocking:

fonts.gstatic.com,  platform.twitter.com,  www.google-analytics.com,  js-agent.newrelic.com

As you can see, none of those tracking sites have anything to do with Webroot’s business 

 @Canuck-Ken 

These actually have quite a bit to do with Webroot business and how we use the page and track for statistics and provide widgets for social media, etc. Google analytics is a huge one and while all of our pages on this site have no ads and a $0 page value, it is still very useful to find out stats around engagement and time spent on the page, etc. 

 

You’ll be hard pressed to find websites (yes even other security vendor websites) out there, be it community or e-commerce, that wont have some version of these trackers. They are not a security risk and have been used in the industry for years and you’ll find are in compliance of all data privacy regulations. Please note that many browsers offer you the option of blocking trackers, scripts, cookies, you name it - and you have that option to block them. When you first visit our community website we also have a cookie notice that is regularly updated to be in accordance with GDPR and other data privacy governing laws.

 

Your decision to block all of these however you wish is always your choice and will not impact the core usage of this website (except maybe a twitter widget). Nor will our website try to maliciously circumvent your decision to block. 

 

Feel free to look around our community and comment on any topics you like around threats. We have a new Threat Report going out next month and we’ll be showcasing it here on the community :grinning:

 

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