Support » Requests and Feedback » Request for Comment: WP Phoning Home

  • What if WordPress sent a message back to WP HQ? So that we could count installations, and possibly create maps of WP users or some such.
    It would just send something saying the URL of the installation, and possibly any GeoURL info you’ve supplied, once a month or something? If that sounds too invasive, then an MD5 hash (it’s one way, and doesn’t contain any data that can really be used to identify YOU) of the same info could be sent instead (so that we could prevent counting the same install twice) and any IP information we recieved could be discarded. That way your priacy would be maintained, and we’d still be able to count our install base.
    So? Any privacy concerns? You can always just not turn the feature on.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • skippy



    If it were a one-time ping presented as an option upon successfully installing WordPress, I’d do it. I don’t know that I want a monthly ping; but I can’t think of any particular reason to justify my opposition.

    anatman: i suggest that instead of sending the URL back, a MD5 hash of the relevant data is sent back instead. This way we can’t tell what the URL actually IS, but we can tell two differnt URLs apart. It’s not perfect, but it significantly reduces your identibility (not that that is a word) and lets us detect seperate installations by comparing hashes.
    skippy: yeah, i originally thought integrating it into the install script would probably be the best place for it. 🙂 We could just have a button in the admin console that says “phone home” on it or something so you can ping back whenever you feel like, either once, never at all etc.




    anatman’s complaint is that the very act of sending the ping will produce a uniquely identifiable hit in the WP referrer logs. Using an MD5 hash won’t change the fact that the sender’s IP, at the least, will be identified.
    I personally don’t see what the big deal is, but I appreciate that it might bother some folks.

    Like i said before “any IP information we recieved could be discarded.”
    It’s trivial to tell apache not to log a connection.

    I don’t mind the idea. Could make latest 10 or so updated blogs … MT way … on the main page. Another way to do this would be via a voluntary registrar, although less effective.

    Not a complaint, more of a concern, what i said before…
    The MD5 is way better than the plain URL, and a checkbox making it optional, is still better. I don’t mind being identified to WP myself, at all – just clicking on my nickname at the right of this post takes to my site – but i really don’t like compulsory home-phoning, and i think it could affect WP’s image negatively. If i begin installing something and i find out in the middle that it will phone home without my explicit consent, i am very likely to abort the installation and choose another piece of software.

    I also said it shouldnt be compulsory in my first post 😛

    Putting aside the privacy issues the idea itsef seems to me to be a really good one . It is easy to think of a range of really interesting applications for the data. It gets my vote.

    Well, if it is the MD5 hash and it is not compulsory, then i can’t see why one would see it as invasive of one’s privacy.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • The topic ‘Request for Comment: WP Phoning Home’ is closed to new replies.