Pi: Personally Identifiable Information in Google Analytics

Today, we'll talk about Personally Identifiable Information in Google Analytics.

Personally Identifiable Information in Google Analytics

DATA: In this category, we talk about all things data. How to send data into Google Analytics, how to pull data out of it, tracking the data, advanced segmentation, privacy and personally identifiable information, Google Tag Manager, and more. After all, Google Analytics is all about the data.

Most websites send data to Google with each page load using JavaScript. Or they choose to send data using Google Tag Manager.

We can also send data for each mobile app screen viewed. For everything else, we can track them using the measurement protocol.

Once data is sent into Google Analytics, you can’t edit your bad data. You can’t clean up past mistakes you made with tracking. And that will certainly affect the data that you pull out.

Personally Identifiable Information in Google Analytics

PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION: You can't store Personally Identifiable Information in Google Analytics.

This element is based on Google Analytics' Terms of Services.

You're not allowed to store any personally identifiable information of visitors anywhere in the account. Among others, email address, phone number, and social security number are considered personally identifiable information.

User IDs are, on the other hand, not considered personally identifiable information. Generated by your system, these IDs are usually used for CRM purposes as well as for session unification across multiple devices.

Many a times, email addresses do get appended to the URL and thus get sent into Google Analytics. You're then technically in violation of Google Analytics' Terms of Services.

Personally Identifiable Information in Google Analytics

Beginner. All Google Analytics users ought to know this right off the bat. While it does take awhile to fully understand it, but its knowledge have implications on many things you do on Google Analytics.

Personally Identifiable Information in Google Analytics

Use query parameter filter. As discussed above, sending personally identifiable information in Google Analytics (such as email addresses sent via URLs) can be prevented by setting up filters. These filters can be set up in Settings tab > View.

Check local laws. Each country or region may have different rules on personally identifiable information. They may be more or less stringent than Google Analytics' Terms of Services on this matter. The European Union, for example, have a stricter privacy law. So, make sure you're complying to your local laws (and that of your visitors) aside from that of Google.


Want to know more about the Periodic Table of Google Analytics? Visit here for more information.

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