Inspectlet, KissMetrics, and Privacy

First of all, a photo – because I like to put one in every post. It has nothing to do with what follows.

Here's Looking At Ewe, Kid
Here’s Looking At Ewe, Kid

It was a post by TimeThief on how to keep your blog safe that go me looking around my WordPress Dashboard.

Timethief explains how you can force an https connection to the WordPress Dashboard. I wasn’t aware of that, so it was a useful tip.

As I say, it prompted me to look around my dashboard and from there, I looked at settings (which you can only see if you are logged in to WordPress of course) /settings/account/ and this is what I saw at the bottom of the page:


We use some third party tools to collect data about how users interact with our site. You can find more information about how we use these tools in our privacy policy. If you’d prefer that we not track your interactions you may opt out by using the following links: opt-out | opt-out

I don’t know Inspectlet but I do know Kissmetrics because I read their blog articles, get their emails, have attended their webinars, and have spoken on the telephone with them when we were looking into using their service on our ecommerce site.


Kissmetrics is a tracking system that measures what you do and where you go when you leave a site. It identifies you and sees what you do in social media and the route you take to come back to the target site.

This is from their website:

Google Analytics shows what’s happening

KISSmetrics uncovers who’s behind it.

What if… you knew every person and everything they did

Instead of your customers being split into visits and events, track real people.

You could open up a report and get a list of real people that met any criteria you wanted.

Find a specific person and see everything they’re ever done. The first traffic source they used to find you, the features they used right after signing up, and every purchase they’ve ever made.

Every last piece of data gets connected to the person that actually does it. Just like you’d see everything customers did in a store, you’d see everything people do on your site or app.

Finally, you’d know exactly what your customers were looking for so you could give it to them. You’d know what was getting in their way so you could make it even easier for them to become a customer. You’d know how groups of customers differed from one another so you could personalize your business for them….

Get to know individual people

What about looking at an individual person to see what they’ve done? In KISSmetrics reports, click on a person and you’ll be taken to their Person Details report. It includes every piece of data that KISSmetrics has on that person.

You’ll learn where they originally came from, what they bought, what they did after signing up, and every other piece of data they picked up along the way. It’s a complete history of how the person touched your business.

Clicking the Kismetrics opt-out took me to this page on the Kissmetrics site:

User Privacy

At KISSmetrics, we recognize the importance of consumer privacy. KISSmetrics provides tools to companies that allow them to analyze usage of their own websites with the goal of improving their customers’ experience.

KISSmetrics treats the data collected on behalf of our customers as our customers’ own confidential data. KISSmetrics does not reveal, sell, share, or exchange data between two customers or to any third-party. Our goal at KISSmetrics is to make the online businesses that consumers enjoy even better.

As an analytics tool provider we provide our customers with a variety of tools to align the usage of our product with their own privacy policy.

As a consumer…

…it is important that you read and agree to the privacy policy and terms of use of any site you visit.

As a site owner…

…it is important to make sure that the software you install on your site acts in accordance with these terms and that you disclose the use and operation of KISSmetrics analytics products and tools in your own privacy policy. If you have any questions about how, as a site owner, you can configure KISSmetrics to align with your privacy policy, please see our User Privacy documentation or e-mail us at

As an additional step to respecting consumer privacy and providing additional tools for our customers, consumers can use the controls below to opt-out or opt-in of tracking by KISSmetrics across all KISSmetrics-enabled websites subject to the user’s settings or practices regarding third party cookies, as discussed below.

Opt-in/Opt-out of KISSmetrics Tracking

Yes, I would like to opt out of KISSmetrics tracking.

Please note: Due to technical limitations the only way we can opt you out is to set a cookie on our domain If you clear this cookie you will lose your opt-out status. This cookie only works on your current browser. You will have to visit this page and opt-out each browser you use. When visiting a KISSmetrics-enabled website we will attempt to read this cookie and if we can we will not track any information about you. However, because this cookie will be set on our domain, not the site you are visiting, this will be treated as a third-party cookie. If your browser rejects third-party cookies you will lose your opt-out status

OK, got that. And the fact is that I reset cookies every time I reset Safari, my browser of choice.

Now for Inspectlet:


From their site:

Watch visitors use your website.

Discover where visitors are getting confused on your site and what’s getting their attention. See every mouse movement, scrolling, clicks, and typing on your site.

Clicking on the Inspectlet link took me to this page:

Opt-out of Inspectlet

Opting out of Inspectlet will disable screen capture for your browser by any websites using Inspectlet.
How does it work?
We will put a cookie on your site that tells Inspectlet not to record screen captures.

Opt me out Now

I see – same problem as with Kissmetrics. As soon as I clear cookies I am back to square one.

What Do I Think?

I think there ought to be a big sign when a user signs up to WordPress telling them about this. Is there? I don’t think there is. There is a link to the privacy policy, but that talks about aggregated data. I think that what Kissmetrics does and the information it provides goes beyond that. As I say, I don’t know about Inspectlet because I haven’t looked into t

Do I care? I have left a digital footprint the size of seven-league boots, so it really doesn’t matter whether I care what is seen about me. I am well past that now. But maybe I would have liked to have been told what WP does.

What do you think?

9 thoughts on “Inspectlet, KissMetrics, and Privacy

  1. Can’t muster up the energy to care anymore. My footprint must be about the same size — I’ve been at it since 1996. That said, still, when I google myself [my real name] I find nothing on me. That’s pretty good.

    Love the sheep photo!


  2. Hi David,
    “I think there ought to be a big sign when a user signs up to WordPress telling them about this.”

    I knew about both and opted out of them awhile back. Then I reconsidered and opted in again. I do agree that the support documentation and Terms of Service ought to include a heads up about both.


      1. I’d like to see that transparency as well.

        I’m still pissed about Quantcast being disappeared without so much as an announcement.

        Zemanta’s disappearance got a sticky post in the support forums but no announcement.


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