I wrote yesterday about the sorry tale of the now Yahoo! owned MyBlogLog banning Jeremy Schoemaker following Jeremy’s exposure of serious security issues with the service, but from from Jeremy today: MyBlogLog Tracks Your Visitors Ad Clicks.
Shortform: MyBlogLog is not only tracking visits from other MyBlogLog members to your site (if you’re using the service) they are also tracking clicks on your ads, INCLUDING Adsense ads.
I can’t speak for other users, but certainly when I signed up for the service I don’t remember anything being clearly mentioned about MyBlogLog spying on the ad clicks on my site.
Certainly, other 3rd party trackers do track this sort of behavior. I use Adlogger on a number of sites to track my clicks and to protect against click fraud, but notably I choose to do so and I run my own copy locally so that only I have control over the data it gathers. Services such as Alexa, Google Toolbar (both of which I use via the searchstatus plugin) and Compete send data on my surfing habits back to their respective companies, but they send MY data back, not the data of visitors to my sites, and I OPT IN TO those services, knowing to well the implications of doing so. MyBlogLog on the other hand is spying on my visitors (which I accept) but also their activity on each site (ad clicks), which I don’t accept. Notably I’ve also read recently (don’t have the link at hand) that prior to Yahoo’s acquisition of the company, MyBlogLog were trying to shop these stats to the highest bidder, so privacy of the data is questionable as well.
Are you using Adsense and MyBlogLog together? Remember the rule about not being able to disclose the CTR rates to third parties? MyBlogLog is gathering this exact data on your site if you’re using the service. Using Adsense with MyBlogLog could get you banned from Adsense!
As of 5 minutes ago I’ve removed MyBlogLog from my own personal blog. My Adsense account is too valuable to risk, and I’m outraged that MyBlogLog was stealing this data from my site. If you haven’t done so yet, I’d encourage everyone using the service to take it down immediately. For all it’s benefits (it’s still a fun idea) the risks far outweigh the benefits.