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Friday, 19 March 2010

Allowing Users To Opt Out Of Google Analytics Would Be Monumentally Stupid

Google Analytics has made this rather innocuous post about potentially allowing users to opt out of having their visits tracked, in the interest of preserving their privacy.

First questions first. Will Google themselves completely ignore such data too? Or will they happily use such data themselves [anonymously] and just not share it with the website owners from whose site they got the data in the first place?

Wouldn't it make more sense to still report non-identifying metrics for users that opt out, and where it comes to metrics that might violate privacy just report those as a total of users opted out?

For e.g. Google could still report the exact number of visitors - that doesn't violate anyone's privacy.

But, say, for other metrics such as geo-location, if that is deemed to be invasive of privacy, Google could just report a total number of visitors that opt out and call that value [unknown - opted out], similar to how they do for visitors whose IP address could not be reverse looked up.
in reference to: Google Analytics Blog: More choice for users: browser-based opt-out for Google Analytics on the way (view on Google Sidewiki)