November 5th, 2005



An update on LiveJournal goings-on, for those of you who don't tend to follow these things. (This post is a summary, and the numerous links provide more information, if you're interested.)

Last week, LiveJournal started using the Hitbox service for anonymous usage statistics and tracking. LiveJournal started sending out a Hitbox cookie and there was Hitbox javascript on many pages on LiveJournal. You can block the cookie, but in most browsers you can't stop the javascript from executing without disabling javascript entirely.

To make things worse, the javascript was obfuscated so badly that the LiveJournal developers probably didn't know exactly what it did. And, while the intention was to leave this tracking code off of all journal pages, it was accidentally left on old-style comment pages. (The ones that have the LiveJournal logo on the top-left of the page, which is probably what most of you see when you read most journal comments.) Any friends-only or private entry that you or anyone else read had its subject line sent to Hitbox along with other tracking information.

Due to these security concerns, the general manager of LiveJournal posted that Hitbox is being removed from LiveJournal until the problems can get worked out.

I suggest those of you interested in this monitor the situation, and don't hesitate to register your thoughts with if the situation becomes something you find problematic. (I did email that address before Hitbox was removed.) Everything sent there is read and responded to (probably by someone I know).