Scorecardresearch - what is it and why is it embedded so deeply into functionality?

I noticed this a few weeks ago, having to click to allow this new entity "scorecardresearch.com" in order to do anything on my own ning sites or on the site I moderate. I use Mozilla with NoScript in order to monitor who and what is accessing my computer. I could not post a response, send a message, upload an item or anything really besides read forum posts.

What (or who?) is Scorecard Research and why are we having to allow cookies from them in order to utilize our Ning sites?

http://scorecardresearch.com/
which seems to be affiliated with:
http://www.fullcirclestudies.com/home.aspx

Thanks & Regards,
Lori

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Hi Lori,

The scorecardresearch javascript is a traffic tracking beacon; we're experimenting with this right now as a way of helping external traffic measurement services, like Comscore, get more accurate statistics on Ning traffic. The beacon is measuring the page url, title and the referring page.

In terms of your use of NoScript, not accepting the beacon shouldn't have any effect on network functionality. I'm using NoScript at the moment and have whitelisted ning.com but have not accepted anything else and I'm not experiencing any functional issues like the ones you've described. Can you perhaps reset your NoScript setting and give it another shot?

Thanks,
Phil
Thank you for the suggestion Phil. I reset my NoScript settings and I was able to add a forum post on one of my Ning sites, but I could not add a comment on a blog post at the site I moderate without temporarily allowing scorecardresearch.com.

Why this would be, I haven't a clue? Maybe it's just me, but I find this creepy... like I'm being "observed" or it's measuring more than just traffic.

Kind regards,
Lori
Hi Lori,

I've confirmed that there's a problem commenting on blog posts using NoScript in that manner; we'll investigate. Thanks for letting us know!

Cheers,
Phil
Hi Ninon,

I can't reproduce that here, but we'll take a look.

Thanks,
Phil
Here's another little issue with scorecardresearch and Firefox/NoScript...
I must "allow" scorecardresearch to be able to leave the chat room, sometimes I'm just checking on the site and don't necessarily want to appear as 'online'

Has there been any progress made in eliminating these issues with scorecardresearch? How could this not be known? Either way, it looks bad -- either Ning has knowingly collaborated with this other 3rd party entity to track very closely every single click ~OR~ Ning has collaborated with this 3rd party entity without realizing how deeply integrated it is in the functionality of existing Ning sites.

SO, either Ning is seemingly knowingly "spying" on our every move - and who knows to what end? ~OR~ Ning is supremely naive in allowing this to contintue??

This 3rd party scorecardresearch thing has become an everpresent and very unwelcome annoyance... what's up??? I mean, did you sign some kind of contract??

Their continued presence only adds to some of the more undesirable perceptions of Ning -- this is not the way to move forward in a positive manner.

I'm very disappointed. :o(
Hi Lori,

As Phil mentions above, "The scorecardresearch javascript is a traffic tracking beacon; we're experimenting with this right now as a way of helping external traffic measurement services, like Comscore, get more accurate statistics on Ning traffic. The beacon is measuring the page url, title and the referring page."

Specifically, this allows us to report accurate traffic statistics via comScore.

And via the scorecardresearch website, "The web beacon and cookie used by comScore is unable to identify the user visiting a page, and there is no personally identifiable data transmitted by, or linked to, the web beacon or any cookies."

Laura
Hi Laura, Thank you for the prompt response.

You said, Specifically, this allows us to report accurate traffic statistics via comScore.

And via the scorecardresearch website, "The web beacon and cookie used by comScore is unable to identify the user visiting a page, and there is no personally identifiable data transmitted by, or linked to, the web beacon or any cookies."


Ok, this explains why Ning is using scorecardresearch, and possibly what is being reported to comScore (still not clear who they are or why it's necessary to report to them, but Ok) -- still there's the lingering question about why this 3rd party scorecardresearch can't do what it's supposed to do without causing problems with functionality?

There is very little I can do without "allowing" scorecardresearch in NoScript, which sort of defeats the purpose of using Firefox w/NoScript. :o(

Regards,
Lori

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