Google Announces Ways to Opt-out of Analytics

analytics-trackingIn a move that will surely upset those obsessed with their web stats, and bring some joy to those concerned with online privacy, Google has announced that they are offering tools to opt-out of their very popular Analytics.

For site owners and stats jockeys, the ability for individuals to more easily hide visits to web sites using Analytics is a bad thing. They want to know as much as possible about everyone that visits. If more people don’t get “tracked”, they might feel that their efforts to create content to move people toward certain goals, funnels/calls-to-action, will be less effective.

For privacy nuts, they’ve probably already been blocking Analytics Javascript code using techniques like I’ve discussed in “How to Hide from Google“. But with Google publicly allowing people to opt-out of this tracking, and to make it as easy as a plugin to your browser, those less technically skilled will also be able to block Google’s tracking code.

My concern with Analytics is that while it is VERY useful for site owners (I use it myself on some sites), the fact that it is used by SO MANY sites all reporting back to GOOGLE, makes for some serious questions on privacy. I don’t mind that site owners do some SITE-LEVEL tracking — I mean, it’s built into the web server anyway — it’s just when all that information from all those different sites is sent to ONE entity — Google — it raises some serious flags.

So, I welcome whatever tools Google has that will allow users the option to opt-out of site tracking. Also included is the ability for site owners to anonymize IP address information sent to Google through Analytics — for site owners that love Analytics, but are concerned about the issues I’ve discussed above.

(Thanks Google! :))

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