Greater choice and transparency for Google Analytics

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | 9:38 AM

Many website owners use Google Analytics and other web analytics tools to make business-critical decisions about how to improve their websites by understanding how users engage with their webpages. We’ve worked hard to make Google Analytics both a robust and reliable web analytics platform while also ensuring the trust and privacy of visitors of these websites. Today we’re taking additional steps to provide even more choice and transparency for both website owners and users.

First, we’re announcing the availability of the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on. The opt-out provides users with a choice of whether information about website visits is collected by Google Analytics. The add-on stops data from being sent from your computer when you visit websites that use Google Analytics Javascript (ga.js) to track usage. The beta version of the opt-out that we are releasing today is available for Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome, and can be downloaded here: tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

Additionally, we’re also releasing new functionality for website owners to provide an additional level of privacy for visitors to their sites by offering an option to anonymize IP address information sent to Google. Google Analytics uses the IP address of website visitors to provide general geographic reporting. Website owners can now choose to have Google Analytics store and use only a portion of this IP address for geographic reports. Keep in mind, that using this functionality will somewhat reduce the accuracy of geographic data in your Analytics reports. You can learn how to implement this within your existing Google Analytics installation here: http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/gaJS/gaJSApi_gat.html

We’re committed to Google Analytics as an industry-leading web analytics platform that also provides users with transparency and choice when it comes to privacy.

Posted by Amy Chang, Director of Product Management, Google Analytics