In this growing time of marketing, there is a dire need to increase the advertisement and popularity of an entity. To achieve this target design a website usage data that can throw an amazing pitch for any startup or business.
To optimize any website one can make use of Google Analytics to increase the SEO of their website. Now, the question can come to your mind What data does Google Analytics prohibit collecting?
1. What is Google Analytics?
One of the major requirements for any website is Google Analytics. The term Google Analytics is a web analytics service that keeps track of the traffic of any website by providing statistics and basic analytical tools for marketing purposes and search engine optimization.
Google Analytics is a dominant tool to check the performance of a website and can also check visitor insights. It can also help in the analysis of Google Analytics customer’s behavior, which is beneficial to medium-sized and small-sized websites.
2. What Data Does Google Analytics Prohibit Collecting?
Google Analytics maintains strict guidelines regarding the types of data that it prohibits from being collected. The following are types of data that are prohibited-
2.1. Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
Don’t collect any personal information of users at any cost. Avoid these data types to ensure the privacy of users. The data which lead directly or indirectly to the identification of an individual fall under this category.
Following are some items to the category – names, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, billing addresses, and some information that can be personal.
2.2. IP Address
Although Google Analytics has the function to collect IP addresses, it also recommends website owners mask their IP addresses. This suggestion is made to prevent any unintentional information disclosure invasion of privacy.
The functionality related to concealing IP addresses should be implemented which does the modification of IPv4 user’s IP addresses by fixing the last octet to zeros and IPv6 addresses by nullifying the last 80 bits.
75% of website owners have not yet anonymized the IP addresses, and they should do so as soon as possible because storing the complete address is not recommended.
2.3. User IDs
In Google Analytics, users are assigned a User ID, which consists of a unique set of alphanumeric characters. It allows them to have their own identity to provide the connection of their behavior across different sessions and on various platforms.
To ensure the necessary privacy, we only share this unique ID with the explicit consent of the respective user. Typically, sharing such data is not allowed because Google Analytics has the potential to collect and transmit data that could jeopardize the privacy of its current users. Google Analytics can use this type of data to collect and send information, which poses a privacy threat to existing users. This type of data is not generally allowed to be shared as Google Analytics can be used to collect and send data leading to the threat of privacy to existing users.
2.4. Health Information
According to The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996(HIPAA) regulated entities avoid using Google Analytics for any kind of data that can be claimed as Protected Health Information(PHI), although it is not explained as a part of PII in Google policies or contracts.
Any authenticated page can fall under HIPAA coverage, and Google Analytics customers should avoid placing Google Analytics tags on such pages.
2.5. Cross-Domain Tracking
This fascinating term in Google Analytics is a process of keeping track of Google Analytics customers of a website and activities related to cross domains or multiple domains used by them. This process functions effectively only when the same Google Analytics property tracks both the destination domains/websites and outbound activities.
2.5.1. Setting Up Cross-domain Tracking
- Open Google Analytics, and go to the property of the website.
- Choose the Admin option.
- Choose tracking Info
- Referral Execution
- Add the domain of the outbound website.
- Add each domain to the list if there are multiple domains.
2.6. Sensitive Demographic Information
Every individual has their identity and their private life, nobody has the right to hinder that privacy. If we are to use Google Analytics for the advertisement features, then we become solely responsible for their protection of data legislation.
We can only share any kind of sensitive information if we have the consent of the visitors to our website. Google Analytics cannot provide accurate demographic information.
If anyone is using Google Analytics ad features they should abide by this policy. Without the consent of the user, they should not break data that has been bonded with the website.
2.7. Racial or Ethnic Information
Today’s world believes in equality, but deep down we are all connected to our roots. For every person, their information is private and they wish to keep it safe. Prohibiting the collection of any data related to the user’s race, ethnicity, or other protected characteristics.
Google Analytics doesn’t create user profiles to keep an eye on people visiting the web pages or an application.
It is not permissible to use this for displaying ads that may rely on sensitive information such as health, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and so on.
2.8. Financial Information
Any kind of data that seems to be related to financial transactions, including credit card numbers, bank account details, or other financial data, shouldn’t be taken using Google Analytics.
One can feel safe knowing that they are the only ones who know their confidential financial information, and there is no risk of it getting leaked.
2.9. Information about Location
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help in analyzing and seeking information about any kind of user. It helps detect the geographical location of the website. This tool can provide proof in any criminal case and can even provide with utmost safety.
Google Analytics can be even helpful if there have to be any records present for any mishappenings. As criminal cases are increasing in every part of the world, it has become a dire need to keep track of the location of each individual.
Although Google Analytics has the power to track the location of any website user Google Analytics cannot send this information anywhere without the permission or knowledge of the user.
2.10. Data of Children
Developers have created Google Analytics to analyze a website’s performance and enhance its search engine optimization (SEO). Today, various types of websites exist from adult to kids’ websites. As every website has registration criteria, for a child there can be login credentials. Google Analytics, can also collect these data.
The question of what data Google Analytics prohibits collecting has a clear answer: it prohibits the collection of any kind of information on individuals aged below 13.
This prohibition is by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which expressly forbids the collection of any kind of information of individuals aged below 13. Under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act(COPPA), this rule states that it is prohibited to collect any kind of information on individuals aged below 13.
In conclusion, Google Analytics enforces strict restrictions on the types of data that can be collected to safeguard user privacy and promotes responsible data handling. It prohibits the collection of any personally identifiable information, including billing details, personal user information, credit card information, passport numbers, and precise location data. Google Analytics doesn’t support the tracking of sensitive demographic information.
Google Analytics imposes severe consequences in case of policy violations or a lack of seriousness in handling privacy concerns. This consequence can even lead to the suspension of the Google Analytics account. Google Analytics indeed collects IP Addresses but it strictly prohibits to use of this data in the identification of users. Furthermore, we only permit the tracking of users across diverse domains for cross-domain purposes when the user gives their consent.
The owner of a website, marketing people, and data analysts need to keep themselves updated with Google’s evolving policies and rules, as policies can change with time to adapt to new privacy regulations and requirements of the standards of the industry. To ensure the continuous availability and functionality of Google Analytics as a vital tool for the performance of a website compilation these policies aids in protecting user privacy.
Therefore, regular users of Google Analytics must always try to keep ethical and responsible data collection practices at high priority, respecting the user’s privacy rights and adhering to relevant legal requirements in their respective regions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What are some Google Analytics terms?
A1. Users, pageviews, conversion rates, referral traffic, bounce rates, and average session durations are some of the Google Analytics terms.
Q2. How can one avoid data leakage in Google Analytics?
A2. Avoiding this risk and certain steps and precautions must be taken. Certain activities like excluding internal traffic, using filters, using Google Tag Manager, regularly reviewing data collection practices, regularly third-party agreements, etc.
Q3. What are Google Ad requests?
A3. In Google Analytics, this term is related to the flow of sending a request from a web page or mobile app to an ad server for displaying any advertisement. With this tracking of ad requests and the relation of user interaction, one can make decisions according to data to optimize their advertising efforts and improve their website and app performance.
Tanya is a final year student pursuing BTech. She is passionate about writing thoughts in a creative manner and loves to explore new places. She is eager to talk about all the beautiful places and their experiences. She has experience in writing content on various topics and she finds her happy place in writing content. She keeps creating content in her head and therefore when gets a chance speaks fluently about it.