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Why analytics customers are prohibited from sending personal information to Google?

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Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello,

 

In Universal Analytics usage guideline, it says analytics customers are prohibited from sending personal information to Google.

 

Can anybody tell me why?

 

My web app has login system and I can ask this in user agreement and get users approve, still I can't send to GA?

 

I'd really like to know why this is prohibited because most of other analytic companies all business depends on this such as kissmetrics.com, mixpanel.com etc. Are they doing something wrong in legal?

 

Thanks,

 

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Oytun S
May 2017

Why analytics customers are prohibited from sending personal information to Google?

Rising Star
# 7
Rising Star

Just to be clear (and probably a little pedantic) - uniquely identifying visitors in GA is okay, it's the inclusion of PII which is the problem (e.g. names, passwords, email addresses etc). You can send client id, or user id, without any problems. For example, if you export to BigQuery then the client id is available as a dimension. 

 

User id is a great idea. You can also send a unique identifier as a custom dimension as well.

John Wedderburn, Advertiser Community, Rising Star
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Why analytics customers are prohibited from sending personal information to Google?

A T
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
A T
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

It is more of a policy issue from GA to safeguard user identity.

 

also read: http://online-metrics.com/pii-google-analytics/

Why analytics customers are prohibited from sending personal information to Google?

Rising Star
# 3
Rising Star

As A T says it's well defined in the terms of service for GA that you cannot send PII. As you know, the legal issues surrounding the storage of data on identified individuals are complex. As GA data is stored by Google it's pretty easy to understand why they do not want to be responsible for data which can be linked to an individual and for which that individual could then ask to be removed, or retrieved, for example. 

 

What you say you do with your customers data - for example from a login - , and what you send to GA, are two different things - there is no conflict here. 

 

The challenge for an analyst is to be able to link the data we collect from GA with individual data from, for example, log in data or CRM data. There's numerous articles regarding this in this forum, and elsewhere. In the case of a log in, for example, you'd want to send a random id, and unique number to label the unique user which you can then cross-reference - outside of GA - to further enrich the data. As long as you're getting your customers approval for this - as you say - then there is no conflict.

John Wedderburn, Advertiser Community, Rising Star
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Why analytics customers are prohibited from sending personal information to Google?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thank you for an explanation.

 

Just to make it clear, if I inform my customers about this in user agreement and send their email to Google Analytics as user id to check their behaviour in user explorer, is it possible?

 

or

 

I will create a different unique id method in my own system and send it GA to check their behaviour under user explorer, then I'll equalise this unique id again with my back system to clarify related user?

 

Thank you again. 

Why analytics customers are prohibited from sending personal information to Google?

Rising Star
# 5
Rising Star

You cannot send PII to Google Analytics - so including an email address in your GA data is not an option. Your second option will be, I believe, the one which will both satisfy the terms of service but also allow you to collect usable data. To help with troubleshooting I'd also recommend sending client id as well. Read more here: https://www.simoahava.com/analytics/improve-data-collection-with-four-custom-dimensions/

John Wedderburn, Advertiser Community, Rising Star
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Why analytics customers are prohibited from sending personal information to Google?

A T
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
A T
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

implement user id tracking in GA.

 

any data that can uniquely identify a visitor is PII, refrain from sending this data to GA.

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Oytun S
May 2017

Why analytics customers are prohibited from sending personal information to Google?

Rising Star
# 7
Rising Star

Just to be clear (and probably a little pedantic) - uniquely identifying visitors in GA is okay, it's the inclusion of PII which is the problem (e.g. names, passwords, email addresses etc). You can send client id, or user id, without any problems. For example, if you export to BigQuery then the client id is available as a dimension. 

 

User id is a great idea. You can also send a unique identifier as a custom dimension as well.

John Wedderburn, Advertiser Community, Rising Star
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Why analytics customers are prohibited from sending personal information to Google?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Helped a lot many thanks!