Solved

Google Analytics and cookies: need some clarifications.

Posted on 2015-02-20
9
163 Views
Last Modified: 2016-02-24
Hello, as you know here in Europe there's a cookie law. I'd like to avoid cookies altogether unless absolutely necessary.

So, Google Analytics was a sure source of cookies, but now with Universal Analytics I think this code will disable them completely:

ga('create', 'UA-XXXX-Y', {
  'storage': 'none',
  'clientId': '35009a79-1a05-49d7-b876-2b884d0f825b'
});

My question is: am I right? If I use Universal, the latest implementation of GA, coupled with this code, will I be ok with the cookie law without the need to ask visitors for cookie permission?

If so I will update all my customers' websites. If not I guess I'll switch to something other than GA.
0
Comment
Question by:Daniele Brunengo
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 5
  • 4
9 Comments
 
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40621715
This page from ICO seems to be the best explanation: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-pecr/cookies/   Note that shopping carts are based on session cookies and turning them off is not really an option.  You need to get used to telling users that you are using cookies... everyone else has.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 40622787
Yeah, but since most sites I've been working on are static presentation sites, the only source of cookies would be Google Analytics. So if I can disable them inside it I would be ok with no need to hassle visitors.
0
 
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40622838
Universal Analytics also uses cookies.  https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/advanced  My main customer uses many different kinds of tracking and they all use cookies.  As far as I can tell, the only way to not have cookies is to not use tracking.

A note...  it is actually the EU Privacy law, not cookie law.  Any method of storing identifying info including Flash cookies and local storage are covered.
0
Moving data to the cloud? Find out if you’re ready

Before moving to the cloud, it is important to carefully define your db needs, plan for the migration & understand prod. environment. This wp explains how to define what you need from a cloud provider, plan for the migration & what putting a cloud solution into practice entails.

 
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40623269
The first article talks about using IP addresses for tracking.  Public IP addresses do not uniquely identify a user.  I have thirty computers here behind a single public IP address.  If you are only using the IP address, you can't tell which computer you're tracking.

In the second article, it tells you what to do to set a cookie for Google Analytics so I'm not sure why you posted that link.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 40623278
If you go to the bottom of the page in the second article you can find this:

Disabling Cookies

By default, analytics.js uses a single cookie to persist a unique client identifier across pages. In some cases you might want to use your own storage mechanism and send data directly to Google Analytics without the use of cookies.

You can disable analytics.js from setting cookies using the following:

ga('create', 'UA-XXXX-Y', {
  'storage': 'none',
  'clientId': '35009a79-1a05-49d7-b876-2b884d0f825b'
});

When you disable cookie storage, you will have to supply your own clientId parameter except for the special case where you are using cross-domain linking parameters.
0
 
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40623316
That is essentially irrelevant because you can't set a unique trackable client id for each user.  And if you could... it still falls under the EU requirement for notification because you are 'storing' and 'tracking' personally identifying information.

It's really simple.  Either you notify them or you do not track them.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 40624396
So what's the exact difference without a trackable id? Visitor counts are wrong?
0
 
LVL 83

Accepted Solution

by:
Dave Baldwin earned 500 total points
ID: 40624449
Visitor counts and page tracking will both be wrong in cases where there is more than one computer behind a public IP address.  You are down to what you can see in the server logs which only list the IP address that requested a page, nothing else.
0

Featured Post

AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate

This course has been developed to provide you with the requisite knowledge to not only pass the AWS CSA certification exam but also gain the hands-on experience required to become a qualified AWS Solutions architect working in a real-world environment.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

When it comes to write a Context Sensitive Help (an online help that is obtained from a specific point in state of software to provide help with that state) ,  first we need to make the file that contains all topics, which are given exclusive IDs. …
Dramatic changes are revolutionizing how we build and use technology. Every company is automating, digitizing, and modernizing operations. We need a better, more connected way to work together as teams so we can harness the insights from our system…
This Micro Tutorial will demonstrate common damaging and frequent mistakes I see in most analytic audits. Most of them are campaign tagging mistakes, so this video will break it down into simple steps.
In this Experts Exchange video Micro Tutorial, I'm going to show how small business owners who use Google Apps can save money by setting up what is called a catch-all email address in their Gmail accounts. By using the catch-all feature, small busin…

623 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question