Google Analytics is making changes to your account to meet the requirements of Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As of May 25, 2018, Google Analytic’s new default for data retention will be 26 months. If you don’t do anything, your website may lose years of GA user-level data.
NOTE: This update should not affect basic site and page tracking data.
Not all US based websites have to worry about the GDPR. If you are tracking data with cookies, user ids or advertising ids you should run the changes by your lawyer.
Although 26 months is default, Google is letting you choose your own expiration date.
“When data reaches the end of the retention period, it is deleted automatically on a monthly basis.
If you change the retention period, then any affected data is deleted during the next monthly process. For example, if you change from 26 months to 14 months, then any data older than 14 months is deleted during the next monthly process.”
To learn more and assess your own exposure I recommend reading:
- GDPR and Google Analytics. Here is what I am telling my clients, Marie Haynes
- User and event data retention, Google Analytics Help
- All About the GDPR, Search Engine Land
If you manage your own analytics, put this on your calendar before May 25. If I manage your analytics, make sure it’s on MY calendar before then!