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The Fine Print: Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a wonderful tool to grow your business and improve your website. Google Analytics provides invaluable insights into how your potential customers are using your website, such as how they found you, what pages they visited, and what pages they found the most compelling. However, one seldom discussed consequence of Google Analytics is that is causes you to be subject to Google Analytics Terms & Conditions, thus requiring you to have a Privacy Policy.


Google requires that website makes disclosures if you install Google Analytics on your website. we will discuss the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that Google Analytics collects and Google’s Privacy Policy requirements so that you can ensure that your use of Google Analytics does not put you at risk of privacy-related fines, lawsuits, or have Google attempt to shut you down.

 Google Analytics and the collection of PII

Since Google Analytics tracks how an individual uses your website, it also collects certain PII that helps ensure that such tracking is accurate. While the exact PII that Google Analytics collects depends upon the settings of your account, Google Analytics will usually collect IP addresses, device identifiers, and information as to how individuals interact with your website. While each privacy law has a slightly different definition of PII, it is generally defined as any information that could identify a particular person. The collection of PII can cause certain privacy laws to apply to your business.

 Google Analytics Privacy Policy requirements

In addition to being required to have a Privacy Policy by certain privacy laws, website owners that install Google Analytics are also required to have a Privacy Policy by Google’s Terms of Service. As you can see below, Google’s Terms of Service requires websites using Google Analytics to have a Privacy Policy that discloses the use of Google Analytics, and how it collects and processes PII. Google’s Terms of Service also requires websites to ensure that each visitor is provided with clear and comprehensive information about, and consents to, the storing and accessing of cookies in connection with Google Analytics.


As such, it is imperative that your website’s Privacy Policy discloses the use of Google
Analytics, what PII is collected, how that PII is used, and the fact that it is
shared with the analytics service provider.

Update Your Privacy Policy

If your website is using Google Analytics, you need to ensure
that you provide an up to date and comprehensive Privacy Policy that not only
complies with the laws that you are subject to, but also discloses your use of Google


If you do not have this call out currently in your Privacy Policy do not worry a significant number of small business are not compliant with this requirement. And that is an opportunity, if you are bidding on deals with large companies they are held to a high standard of compliance, so showing how you comply with directives like Google’s Terms of Service can show why your partners can rest assured partnering with you.


Don’t Know where to Begin

If you do not have a Privacy Policy or don’t know what to add
for Google Analytics the team here at CSR is here to help you. The details are
rarely exciting, but if you take the opportunity to read a Privacy Policy you may find a
new opportunity to grow your business.