Data Retention Controls are Coming to Google Analytics in May 2018
Like many people, we opened our Analytics accounts this morning and were greeted with a blue message bar advising:
“We’ve recently launched new Data Retention controls that may affect your data starting May 25, 2018. Please review your settings and make any changes required.”
The full explanation of the controls work can be found in the Analytics help centre here.
Many users, frustrated by a lack of clear guidance thus far, will welcome this (perhaps more) direct response from Google Analytics to the upcoming introduction of the GDPR across the European Union on May 28th.
Who Does This Affect?
In short, everyone.
If you have a Google Analytics account, you’ll need to decide how long you want to retain user data for and choose one of the 4 available time periods or “Do not automatically expire”:
- 14 months
- 26 months
- 38 months
- 50 months
- Do not automatically expire
Crucially, this will apply to both active and legacy Google Analytics – so if you have a collection of accounts, perhaps due to having multiple sites/apps or having had to switch accounts for some reason over the years, you’ll need to change the settings here too.
Since the time of writing my original post, the option to “Do not automatically expire data” has appeared, making previous advice redundant.
Now, it’s as simple as selecting the “Do not automatically expire data” option in any Google Analytics profile you wish to retain your data in.
As above, select the “Do not automatically expire data” setting, however, if you do wish for your data to removed after certain time periods, my advice would be to export top level traffic data before expiry so that you have some form of past records for past reference if needed in the future.
Want further advice on GDPR, Data Retention or Google Analytics in general?
If so, contact our team here and we’ll be happy to assist.