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Google Analytics

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What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a web analytics service provided by Google. 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 provides insights into metrics such as the number of visitors, page views, average time spent on the site, bounce rate, and conversion rate. It also offers information about the geographic location of visitors, the devices and browsers they use, and their demographics. 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.

Google Analytics plays a crucial role in digital marketing and website optimization, enabling businesses to measure the success of their online efforts and make data-driven decisions to improve their online presence and achieve their goals.

How Google Analytics describes their service?

“Google Analytics gives you the tools you need to better understand your customers. You can then use those business insights to take action, such as improving your website, creating tailored audience lists, and more.”

What is the purpose of this service?

These services enable 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?

Google Analytics collects the following personal data:

  • Tracker: A tracker is a term used to describe any technology or method that keeps tabs on users. It may involve accessing or storing information on the user’s device or browser. Common examples of trackers include cookies, unique identifiers, web beacons, embedded scripts, and fingerprinting.
  • Usage Data: Usage data is the information gathered automatically about website users and their actions. It covers device type, location, browser, operating system, visited page sequence, as well as technical details like IP addresses, request times, file sizes, and server response codes.
  • Browser Information: Common types of browser information that can be collected by cookies and trackers are:
    • Browser type and version (e.g., Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox)
    • Language preferences (e.g., English, Spanish)
    • Screen resolution (e.g., 1920×1080, 1366×768)
  • City: Your IP address can provide general information about where you live, such as your city.
  • Device Information: This refers to details about the user’s 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 phone number, and application version.
  • 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.
  • Session Statistics: Session statistics capture user interactions and behaviors during a specific period, including session duration, page visits, actions taken, and other relevant data.

More information on how Google Analytics 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, CCPA/CPRA, and LGPD, and are essential for two main reasons:

  • 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.
  • 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. Don’t just click “I Agree” — take time to know what you’re agreeing to!

Does Google Analytics use tracking cookies and what are my rights in relation to them?

Yes, Google Analytics may use tracking 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 European laws like the GDPR, websites and apps using cookies must inform users and preemptively block any scripts that could install cookies prior to consent (required in many European countries). Under US laws like the CPRA and VCDPA, you should be provided a way to opt out of tracking.

What are cookies and how can they affect my privacy?

Cookies and trackers are digital tools used by websites to gather and manage your data.

Cookies, small data files saved by websites you visit, remember your preferences, like language or login details, to facilitate a seamless browsing experience. Trackers record your online activities, like the pages visited or ads clicked, enabling personalized content and targeted advertising.

These tools enhance your internet experience but also collect data about your online habits. This data, typically anonymized, helps websites and advertisers tailor content to your interests.

Understanding cookies and trackers is crucial for internet users. Always review a website’s privacy and cookie policies to understand how your data is used, balancing a personalized online experience and your privacy.

Which cookies may Google Analytics install on my devices?

Name of cookie How long it lasts (max age in seconds)
_gid 86400 (1 day)
AMP_TOKEN 3600 (1 hour)
_gac* 7776000 (3 months)
_gat 60 (1 minute)
_ga 63072000 (2 years)
_ga_* 63072000 (2 years)