I was recommending Mint recently as an excellent way of keeping an eye on click-through, a good way to find out exactly where visitors are going, how they’re getting in (whether through a link, Google search), etc.. and I was asked the question “is it legal?”
Now I believe everyone who uses the Internet probably has an idea that they can be traced to some degree… but the question made me realise that perhaps there are a lot of people who don’t realise the exact hows, whys and whats. If people are so oblivious to this kind of watching, does it pose an ethical dilemma? Should we accept that hey, big brother is out there, and force people to get over it… or, should we as stats-tracking webmasters let people know that their movements are monitored?
Do you use extensive trackers like Mint, and if so, have you ever considered how your visitors feel about being watched so intensively? As a blog visitor, how do you feel knowing that I (and other site owners) can see — basically — where you are at any given moment? I’d be interested in hearing people’s thoughts on this :)