The United States Data Protection General Regulations come into force on May 25th. Google and other data collection services protect themselves by allowing users to control the data held by customers and visitors to the site. Any public website – worldwide – is, in essence, submitted to the GDPR because the site probably has visitors from the EU.
Google Analytics recently enabled data retention controls for cookies and user credentials, at Admin> Tracking Info> Data Retention .
Questions about how traders should apply these retention settings are best answered by a lawyer. (We published an interview with a lawyer, ” Internet Attorney on GDPR Compliance for Ecommerce. “)
I suggest 14 months for the retention period. This is the shortest option. (The choices are ” 14 months “” 26 months “” 38 months “” 50 months ” and ” does not expire automatically “) Fourteen months should pass between sessions so that a user is not identified by his cookies. Select ” Disabled ” for ” Reset to a new activity ” if you want to pay close attention to storing user data. This means that a user's data will be deleted 14 months (if you selected 14 months) after their initial session.
These settings do not affect how long Google Analytics stores your aggregated session data, but only individual data. Google will store your overall session, your page and other data up to 25 months for standard users and 37 months for Premium – although I have not seen any deleted data yet, even on accounts of more than 10 years.
See Google's ” Data Retention ” for explanations and suggestions.
Google Analytics has a data-processing agreement specific to GDPR. All website owners who use Google Analytics must accept it.
To read and accept the terms, go to Admin> Account Settings then scroll to the bottom of the page to find the amendment. Accept the terms (click on "Edit Change") and provide your organization's contact information (click "Manage ODA Details").
For more information, see ” Google's Data Processing Terms “.
Merchants should take responsibility for their data collection methods, whether the data is stored by merchants or on their behalf. The Wild West days of capturing everything and anything about an audience is over. Viewing and accepting relevant settings on Google Analytics is a good place to start.