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Google Analytics (Universal Analytics)

What is Google Analytics (Universal Analytics)?

Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) is a web analytics service provided by Google LLC. It allows website owners and marketers to track and analyze various aspects of their website’s performance and user behavior. By implementing a tracking code on their website, users can gather valuable data about their website’s visitors, traffic sources, user engagement, and conversions.

Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) provides insights into metrics such as the number of visitors, page views, average time spent on the site, bounce rate, and conversion rate. This data helps website owners understand their audience and make informed decisions about website optimization, content creation, and marketing strategies.

The platform offers a wide range of reports and features, including real-time reporting, goal tracking, e-commerce tracking, event tracking, and custom reporting. It also integrates with other Google products such as Google Ads, allowing users to measure the effectiveness of their online advertising campaigns.

How does Google describe this service?

Get a complete understanding of your customers across devices and platforms. Google Analytics gives you the tools, free of charge, to understand the customer journey and improve marketing ROI.

What is the purpose of this service?

This service enables the website or app owner to observe and study online traffic and user actions. Tracking mechanisms are generally used to gauge and understand user behavior, all with the aim of enhancing the overall service quality.

Which of my data is processed when I visit a website or use an app that runs Google Analytics (Universal Analytics)?

When you visit a website or use an app that incorporates Google Analytics (Universal Analytics), Google may process certain information about you as an end user. This includes:

  • Device Information — This refers to details about your device, such as the device type (e.g., smartphone, tablet, desktop), operating system (e.g., iOS, Android, Windows), mobile network information such as the carrier name, and application version.
  • Browser Information — Common types of browser information that can be collected are browser type and version (e.g., Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox), language preferences (e.g., English, Spanish), and screen resolution (e.g., 1920×1080, 1366×768).
  • Session Statistics — Session statistics capture your interactions and behaviors during a specific period, including session duration, page visits, actions taken, and other relevant data.
  • City — Your IP address can provide general information about where you live, such as your city.
  • Latitude and Longitude (of the city) — These are the approximate geographical coordinates of the city from which you are accessing the website.
  • Number of Users — This refers to the count of individual users who have accessed a particular service, application, or website. It indicates the total number of unique users interacting with the system within a specific timeframe.

More information on how Google processes your personal data can be found in their Privacy Policy.

What’s a privacy policy and why it matters to me?

A privacy policy is a legal document that explains how a business collects, uses, and manages your data. These documents are required under most privacy legislations worldwide, including the GDPR in the European Union, CPRA (an amendment to the CCPA) in the United States, FADP in Switzerland, and LGPD in Brazil, and are essential for two main reasons:

  1. Informed Consent — Privacy policies are crucial in providing you with the necessary information to give informed consent. You’ll know exactly what data you’re sharing and the purposes it will serve, ensuring no unexpected surprises about data usage.
  2. Protecting Your Rights —Privacy policies are designed to uphold your rights regarding your personal data. If a company doesn’t follow its own policy, it can be held legally accountable. Thus, understanding these policies equips you with the knowledge to protect your data rights and seek legal recourse if needed.

Understanding a privacy policy is key to maintaining control over your personal information in the digital age.

Does Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) use cookies and what are my rights in relation to them?

Yes, Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) may use cookies and install them on your devices. As such, websites and apps that use this service must provide a detailed cookie policy.

In general, websites and apps that use third-party cookies or their own cookies for tracking and analytics must comply with the law and therefore are required to obtain your express consent through a cookie or consent banner.

Under the European ePrivacy Directive (also known as the Cookie Law), websites and apps that utilize cookies or similar tracking technologies are required to inform users about their use and must preemptively block these technologies until consent is obtained.

What are cookies and trackers? How can they affect my privacy?

Cookies and trackers are digital technologies that websites use to gather and manage your data.

Cookies are small pieces of data stored in your browser, typically when you visit a website. Trackers, which include technologies such as cookies, unique identifiers, web beacons, embedded scripts, e-tags, and fingerprinting, enable the monitoring of your online activities, such as the pages you visit or ads you click on.

These technologies serve a variety of purposes, ranging from enhancing your internet experience to enabling personalized content and targeted advertising.

It’s crucial for internet users to understand cookies and trackers. Always review a website’s privacy and cookie policies to grasp how your data is utilized. This helps in balancing a personalized online experience with your privacy rights.

Which cookies may Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) install on my devices?

Name of cookie How long it lasts (max age in seconds)
_gid 86,400 (1 day)
AMP_TOKEN 3,600 (1 hour)
_gac* 7,776,000 (3 months)
_gat 60 (1 minute)
_ga 63,072,000 (2 years)
_ga_* 63,072,000 (2 years)