July 24, 2014

Google Unveils Analytics-Blocking Add-On

People who are interested in evading Google Analytics can now easily do so thanks to Google itself.  This afternoon, the company released a beta version of the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on, and there’s a new option for site owners who feel protective of their visitors, too.

These are significant steps on Google’s part.  On the one hand, they’re sure to please privacy advocates.  On the other, the browser add-on move in particular may upset site owners concerned about revenue streams.  Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section below.

Let’s move on to more concrete details for now, though.  Amy Chang, Director of Product Development for Google Analytics, explained on the Google Analytics Blog, “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.”

As for the second change, Chang wrote, “[W]e’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.”

It should be very interesting to see how many people take advantage of these new options.