Your data

It's a question that pretty much everyone I have spoken to about this site has raised.

"Why would I put my usage history on this site? Aren't I just helping the police?"

To start, I'd like to point out that I have been entering my usage data on this site's predecessor since 2006 and have never been raided or experienced anything to indicate that publishing such data was detrimental. And that data was completely publicly available - anyone who desired to could see that I had used heroin just ten minutes before, and how much I had spent.

This site is different. The only person who is going to see your usage data is the person who has the username and password to your account with - and that's usually just yourself. All the publicly available information is an amalgam of all users' data. The pie chart (currently on the right hand side) shows just the relevant proportions of cash spent on various substances.

If you are logged in, you can see a list of individual usages, and a username shows - if that user has specifically chosen to display their name. By default, their name will be masked to ******** (and no, it's a fixed length, so just because it is eight characters long it doesn't mean it's masking an eight-character username!)

And if you're worried about those pretty timeline charts, yes they're generated by a google algorithm. But the website for the algorithm states (and you can check this yourself at this site) that

"All code and data are processed and rendered in the browser. No data is sent to any server."

Finally, the server itself that holds the database is only accessible by the owner. The aim of this site is to give users just a few grams of the kilograms of power that this society has stripped away from them. By viewing your usage and its fluctuations, maybe you can start to understand when you're more likely to use. Or at least stop kidding yourself that things are completely under control.

So I urge you to give the site a go, to enter some data and start to see how the more data you add, the more you get back out of it.


sayarsan's picture

I am terribly ignorant of how data from a site such as this can or will be monitored. Surely anyone doing illegal drugs will use an alias to begin with and even then can have their data kept anonymous. The only scenario i can think of is if Control notices a particular identity which looks interesting or threatening and tries to identify them. I assume that all my activity on the internet is linked to my ISP address coz this is the computer i spend virtually all my time on. If i was seriously concerned about this possibility and there are plenty of good reasons to be concerned depending on your personal life, i would use other computers that can't be linked to you like an internet cafe or community group.

Not all people are that obsessive about their drug use that they will take the time and trouble to keep track of their usage, a drug addict often has limited priorities but i maintain that it is possible to be a drug addict and still have the ability to control your own life but it takes a long time to learn. When i started using drugs the only place to learn anything was from my equally ignorant peers and a process of experimentation. It was the same when i started learning to play mandolin. In brisbin they are still a relatively unusual instrument but in the 70's they were a rarity. I wish i had the internet then. The same goes for drugs so there is definitely a place for a site such as this where the data is produced by the users. Many who are wary of the 'Usage Tracker' may become more interested as it becomes more familiar and hopefully in time can become an interesting and useful tool.

More than data alone the site is also a repository of stories, anecdotes, discussion topics, news and journal articles, and reviews of music, books, and videos including personal galleries. The site has no stand on drugs other than harm minimization i suppose but the individuals are always encouraged to keep an open mind feel free to engage in debate.