GDPR Regulations go into Effect May 25th: How will it Impact my Business and Google Analytics Data?

GDPR regulations go into effect in Europe on May 25th. Is your organization ready?

A couple days ago, anyone who owns or admins a Google Analytics account received an email from Google with the subject line “[Action Required] Important updates on Google Analytics Data Retention and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)”.

Since we’re over a month away from GDPR officially going into effect in Europe, we wanted to prepare your organization, so it can take the proper actions before the regulations are put in place.

Read on to learn:

  • A background on GDPR and its definition
  • How GDPR impacts Google Analytics data
  • What can be done about GDPR

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is Europe’s new regulation that unifies data protection rules across Europe and protects the rights of EU citizens by setting new restrictions and obligations on organizations that offer goods and services online. The GDPR is a privacy/data protection law that allows a consumer to, among other things, be “forgotten” by the platforms that had collected data on them. Many online services have started making changes to ensure compliance before May 25th.

Why is GDPR Important to my Business? Hint: it has to do with Your Google Analytics Data

In compliance with the GDPR, Google Analytics has made some changes to introduce granular data protection controls within Google Analytics. These new changes allow admins to dictate how long Google Analytics holds onto user level data and event level data tied to those users.

In the past, Google Analytics held on to user and event level data indefinitely. These new controls allow you to set a timeframe after which data at that level gets deleted. These time frames range from “after 14 months” to “never”. Once you’ve set a data expiration period with these controls, your account will automatically delete granular user and event level data from before that cutoff, once a month.

These controls allow for a deeper level of privacy for the visitors to your site. That’s what this essentially boils down to.

Are we losing our data?

While the more granular user and event level data will be cleared from Google’s servers, all of the aggregated data will remain.

So, all the information in the majority of your Google Analytics reports will still be there, exactly as it is today. You’ll actually see very little noticeable difference in your day-to-day Google Analytics operations.

What needs to be done?

Though many businesses don’t operate or have locations in the EU, GDPR and data protection in general are topics heavily covered in the news and discussed amongst the digital marketing community.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us any additional questions about how GDPR changes may affect you or your Google Analytics account. We’ll be happy to help your organization and provide context where we can.

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