[racket-dev] spam & planet bug reports

From: Neil Van Dyke (neil at neilvandyke.org)
Date: Sat Dec 11 13:41:56 EST 2010

One issue to consider with Recaptcha is that it's incidentally a Web bug 
that helps track people around the Internet.  If you don't already have 
Web bugs in your site, by adding one you increase the cross-site tracking.

In the case of PLaneT bug reports, the privacy and security cost of a 
Web bug seems negligible.

However, I think it is good to sanity-check every time you use one of 
these effective Web bugs.  I've seen sites like anonymous discussion 
boards on sensitive topics doing things like loading Recaptcha for not 
only posts (goodbye, posting anonymity), but also for every message a 
user views (hello, centralized detailed profiling).  In many cases, I 
believe that site operators who help implement the tracking are unaware 
of it, although in other cases they might be indifferent or believe that 
the tracking will be used only for certain purposes they consider to be 

Now that I'm in my 30s, my interest in this is academic curiosity rather 
than activist, but I'd like to have at least Racket people aware of the 
implications when they decide to use an effective Web bug like Recaptcha.

> FWIW, recaptcha is really easy to set up. Like less than 10 minutes from
> not knowing anything about it to having a working system.
> http://www.google.com/recaptcha


Posted on the dev mailing list.