Next up in our coverage of specific tracking companies we’ve added to DoNotTrackMe’s block list is Mixpanel. What’s most unique and concerning about Mixpanel from a privacy perspective is that they advertise that they can tie their incredibly detailed tracking data to specific individuals. Although it happens and it’s certainly been done before, advertisers typically don’t admit it: they focus on data being aggregated and “de-identified” and thus lacking privacy risks (which isn’t always true, but that’s the industry stance and one of their key talking points).
Mixpanel is coming right out and marketing its tracking tools based on the ability to identify individuals. On their website, they say “Now you can tie any kind of data to your users to see exactly who they are and what they have done.” They even show a screenshot of their user interface showing incredibly detailed facts about individuals listed by name, with a photo, their email, their home town, their site activity, and more. They’re still being a bit cautious about it–their page discussing the feature isn’t linked to from their main site and took some digging to find–but it seems they’re aware that what’s a privacy death sentence for most advertisers could also be a major selling point for their advertiser customers.
Mixpanel says they’re tracking 6.2 billion web and mobile user actions each month. These actions include a user’s demographic info, referrer info, and detailed site actions (like whether they opened a drop-down menu, clicked a button, put something in their shopping cart, or even hovered their mouse in a certain area for longer than average).