Cloudflare launches free, ‘privacy-first’ rival to Google Analytics

Internet infrastructure giant Cloudflare has unveiled a new privacy-centric website analytics platform, designed to challenge the dominance of Google Analytics (GA).

Much like GA, Cloudflare Web Analytics will draw in information about visitors to a given website – their volume, time on page, geographical location, device type etc. – which the user can browse via a centralized dashboard.

Where the two services diverge, however, is that Cloudflare’s will not store or profit from types of user data that Google uses to assess and augment online advertisements – a practice that some consider a breach of privacy.

Cloudflare Web Analytics has been made available immediately to existing customers and will be published free for all website administrators to use in the near future.

According to Cloudflare, the debate around privacy on the web has come to a head this year and, as a result, users are less and less willing to tolerate the kinds of data gathering practices engaged in by the world’s technology behemoths.

Both Google and Facebook, for example, have made it their business to tease out and evaluate

the intricacies of each and every individual that engages with one of their platforms – which are all but impossible to avoid.

“This year, it is palpable how much privacy and concerns about data are becoming one of the real touchstones that are differentiating various tech companies,” said Matthew Prince, Cloudflare CEO.

“There are things that are good about ad-supported models – it’s a fair way to make content available to everyone – but there’s also no doubt there has been a level of abuse on the security front, on a performance-of-the-internet front, but mostly on a creepy, ‘I don’t want Google and Facebook to know everything there is about me’ front.”

With Cloudflare Web Analytics, the CDN provider aims to counter this trend and further establish its reputation as a champion of internet privacy.

In a similar vein, the company has released a free website encryption tool, a privacy-centric DNS service and introduced unlimited DDoS protection for customers of all sizes – all within the last handful of years.

Armed with this selection of tools (and now Web Analytics too), Cloudflare hopes businesses can afford their customers the level of security and data privacy they now demand.

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