If you use Google Analytics on your website, and we highly recommend that you do, you may have received an email from them recently asking you to review your Data Retention Controls because of GDPR.
Now we all know we need to be GDPR compliant and it all sounds very official and important, but what on earth does that mean? Before you start panicking and dive into an internet rabbit warren, worry not, we have jumped in there for you and have hopefully broken it down for you below.
What is Google Analytics?
If you are serious about analysing your website and your traffic you should ask your Web Developer to add a Google Analytics Tracking Code into your website for you. If you have had your website built by ourselves we do it as standard on all our websites. Once the tracking code is in, Google gathers data from users who have visited your website. In here you can analyse your most popular pages, your bounce rate, the Geographical location of visitors and so much more! To make it even better, it is completely free!
Why are Google making these changes?
The new EU GDPR law comes into place in the UK on May 25th and it aims to protect people's personal data. To comply with GDPR Google needs to make some changes, such as the Data Retention email that you have received.
What are the Data Retention Settings?
This is allowing you to decide how long your user data is stored on Google’s servers. Google have given you the options of 14 months; 26 months; 38 months; 50 months; or Do not automatically expire. Google has given you, the customer, the option of how long you want to store this data for so you can align it with your GDPR Policy. Once the time period of that data is up, it will be automatically deleted.
What data does this affect?
The aggregated data, that does not identify an individual person will not be affected by these changes, so your main data will be absolutely fine. Google will only be removing the data that could identify a particular user and how they used the website. Google has said that only advanced featured will be affected by these changes:
“The user and event data managed by this setting is needed only when you use certain advanced features like applying custom segments to reports or creating unusual custom reports.”
What do I need to do next?
So, simply put, you need to select how long you want to keep this data for and then go into your analytics account and tell Google, you will need to have edit permissions to do this.
To set how long you want to store this data for you need to go to Google Analytics and select Admin>Property> Tracking Info> Data Retention
If you are still unsure, we have walked you through the process below: