WordPress.com and Jetpack Launch New Activity Feature for Monitoring Website Changes

WordPress.com launched a new Activity feature today, a tool for monitoring changes that occur on the site and actions initiated through the admin. It’s also available for Jetpack-enabled sites and the activity log can be viewed on WordPress.com or on the WordPress mobile apps.

Activity logs the following actions and presents them in an easy-to-read timeline on WordPress.com:

  • Published or updated posts and pages
  • Comment submission and management activity
  • Settings and options modifications
  • Login attempts by registered site users
  • Plugin installations, updates, and removals
  • Theme switches, installations, updates, and deletions

The Activity log can be useful for debugging client sites where the client cannot remember the actions they performed that changed their website. Users can also update plugins and themes directly from the activity log.

WordPress.com’s new Activity feature is reminiscent of XWP’s Stream plugin, which launched in 2013 with similar admin logging features stored locally. It offers support for multisite as well as several popular plugins, such as ACF, bbPress, BuddyPress, EDD, Gravity Forms, WooCommerce, Yoast SEO, and Jetpack. Stream hasn’t gained much traction in recent years with just 30,000 active installations.

In 2014, Stream’s creators explored offering Stream as a service where the logs were stored in AWS and included configurable SMS notifications. The service was shut down in 2015 in favor of storing the activity logs locally due to the expense of cloud storage. Shortly after that it was acquired by XWP.

Automattic is also exploring offering its new Activity feature as a paid service. Currently sites on the Free plan only have access to the last 20 most recent events. Access is tiered based on the plan. Personal and Premium users have access to activities from the last 30 days and Professional users can see all activities for the past year. The ability to filter activities by type is also restricted to paid users only.

Jetpack site owners should note that Activity is activated by default – it’s not a module that can be turned on or off. The feature doesn’t send any new data to WordPress.com but rather offers a new interface for data that is already synced.

The full list of activities the feature collects, as well as privacy information related to data retention, is available for WordPress.com and Jetpack sites in the documentation for the feature. Users can report bugs to the Calypso GitHub repository.

14 Comments


  1. I think there should be an opt-out for this feature as not everyone likes every single action that they’ve done logged, regardless of the benefits.

    Report

    Reply

  2. This absolutely needs an opt-out! This, like it looks here and what is described about it, is not GDPR compliant. For this alone, there needs to be an opt-out!

    For GDPR there needs to be IP anonymizing etc.
    It needs to be documented what data is stored where, how long, who has access to it and when it will be deleted.

    Automatically opt-in such features that in any way affect GDPR/ privacy in general is a no-go!

    Report

    Reply

      1. Do the people who use site with jetpack know that? Is there a link to that page automatically generated on these websites? If not, it is not compliant.

        Report


      2. Do the people who use site with jetpack know that?

        That information is indeed available when one connects their site to WordPress.com in the first place, and is mentioned in the “Privacy” page within the Jetpack dashboard.

        Is there a link to that page automatically generated on these websites?

        That link isn’t automatically added to your site for you but Jetpack, like other plugins, uses WordPress’ built-in privacy policy builder to help you add relevant content to your privacy policy. To make that easier, Jetpack also offers tools that can help you with that (you’ll most likely be more interested in the “Privacy Policy Helper” section).

        Report


      3. The mentioned details are NOT on their privacy page — the Live Monitor tool is not even mentioned.

        So, this whole thing is not compliant – you cannot use it if your company is located within the EU.

        Report


      4. The mentioned details are NOT on their privacy page — the Live Monitor tool is not even mentioned.

        @David Decker Check this page; this is probably what you are looking for.

        If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to try to install and activate Jetpack; you’ll see links to those pages during the connection process, and you’ll be able to get more information on the Privacy page of the Jetpack dashboard.

        If you’d rather not install Jetpack, another option is to check the post we had published about our work earlier this year.

        Once you have all the information, you should be able to make an informed decision. We cannot give specific legal advice about your particular site of course because we are not your attorney, but you can use all that information and compare that with the recommendations of your attorney and figure out if Jetpack is a tool for you.

        Report


  3. No opt out, no disable switch. Clearly voids GDPR.

    It appears that wordpress.com has no idea about GDPR, this “feature” makes use of wordpress.com sites in EU illegal.

    Report

    Reply

  4. Yeah , I much prefer Simple History for this,

    Report

    Reply

  5. We are doing something like this. We are showing recent events in WordPress or EDD stores. https://wpdrift.io/.
    It would be a single dashboard for your all WordPress sites,
    helping you understand your data
    and make more informed decisions.

    Report

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.