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Betrayal of Trust is SiteMeter.com Planting 3rd Party Cookie?

Posted by todd at 8:14 PM on April 2, 2007

All Geek News Central readers are encouraged to clear any cookies that may be associated with this site. Details on why this action needs to be taken is listed below. As a word of caution, significant numbers of websites use the SiteMeter stats tracker service, thus you may have more than one instance of the “specificclick cookie” in your cookie list.

Let me state straight up.  It is the policy of this website to NEVER share info about it’s visitors to anyone outside of this sites management. We take any breach of trust by service providers very seriously.

Let me state for the record that I am as mad as any one person can possibly be at the moment. I have an inquiry  to management at SiteMeter.com, but I am doubting they are going to respond as it appears their website blog has went dark since this has broken.

Up till about a hour ago I was a paying commercial customer of SiteMeter and have paid them an annual fee to have them provide stats for this site for 3–4 years and was happy with the service until today!

Last week the folks over at StatCounter.com told the webhosting community that they had been offered big bucks by a company to drop a spyware / 3rd party cookie onto people visiting websites that use their service for stats. StatCounter.com smartly refused but added in their blog post that another stats company had apparently taken the money.

Up and until late this afternoon I was unaware who the suspect company was, and was shocked to have gotten some e-mails pointing me at some websites that were discussing that the well known SiteMeter.com was the other company that StatCounter.com had refused to name.

Examination on my own has discovered, and I am able to confirm, on two of my sites, that Sitemeter was sending “specificclick cookies” to anyone visiting this site. Violating not only my policy but apparently not following their own terms of service.

I have removed the SiteMeter.com counter and now have all of my sites using Google Analytics only. I am going to contact my attorney as well on this mater to find out what recourse we have in this mater.

This is not the behavior one would expect from a company that you pay a annual fee to, for service. This is so over the top that I can hardly believe that the would betray the trust of their subscribers to such a high level.

For more info visit “Eric Odom”, “Troubled Diva”, “Ask Shane”, “NetWizardBent Corner