Google has released an add on for web browsers that allows users to opt out of its Google Analytics website tracking service. Google's blog post announcing the software claims the move is calculated to "provide even more choice and transparency for both website owners and users".
Website owners, including the majority of the top 10,000 most visited sites on the Internet, use the free Analytics service to track and profile visitors to their websites. Until recently, it was impossible for a visitor to one of these websites to stop their information becoming available to the website owner.
User 'Frank' wrote in the official comment thread: "I'm really amazed you opened this door. It's absolutely terrible in my mind. It's almost as bad as a bait and switch... I track conversions through Google Analytics and now my numbers are going to be off because people can opt out. I would love to hear about your reasoning for this. Each web site should have the ability to allow this plugin to work or not. I signed up because I want 100% of my visitors data available to me so I can make better decisions."
It is not clear at this stage whether the plugin stops Google Analytics from registering a page view whenever a user with it installed lands on the site, or merely blocks data that could be used to identify them.
The plugin can be downloaded from Google's website.