3.1K members online now
Discuss regaining access to Analytics accounts, restoring accounts, changing user access levels, and navigating the homepage
Guide Me

PII data vs. Blog Author Data

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

So everyone knows not use PII information when you are setting up custom dimensions, what I find odd is that whenever there are examples for custom dimensions there is almost always the example of a blog site wanting to import author name as a dimension. Why is this admissible under PII is it because it's not a customer?


The reason I ask is if we wanted to create a dimension for the sales person associated with a given account is that admissible as well? 

1 Expert replyverified_user

PII data vs. Blog Author Data

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi, Juan B,


Before we go any further, it's ALWAYS a good idea to get a "final verdict" from your legal counsel or team on anything regarding PII. You shouldn't base your decisions on what people say on a forum like this, *especially* when it's a sticky subject such as this. That said, these are my own thoughts only and should not be taken as the law. Smiley Very Happy


OK, so now that that's out of the way, PII is usually information about the visitor themselves: their own email, own first/last name, own phone number, own address, etc. That's why if you track the URLs of link clicks and you click on a mailto link or something that has someone else's email address (like the author of a blog), then that email address in the URL wouldn't necessarily be considered PII. And same disclaimer as above applies to this statement: when you search for someone else's full name or email or phone on a site, technically it's not considered PII as the user isn't entering personally identifiable information. This might be opening up a can of worms but helpful and healthy discussion is welcome here, too, I think.


So in a way, you are not tracking a user's information into the Custom Dimension, but you are tracking something that's already available and published on your site, like the author's name.


Hope this helps, but feel free to reply with any questions or comments or concerns!

Nicky Yuen, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.
Find me on: Google+ | LinkedIn