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Mastering Privacy: How to Optimize Google Analytics 4 for Your Business


Welcome to another insightful blog post! As a leading web development company, we are excited to share with you tips and guidelines on how you can configure Google Analytics 4 to prioritize user privacy. Whether you are a veteran or a newbie in the field, you’ll find a wealth of information on how to effectively and responsibly use the features of Google Analytics 4.

Marching Towards Privacy: Google Analytics 4 Configuration

In this modern era where privacy is of utmost importance, Google Analytics 4 offers a plethora of settings that can be adjusted not only within the tool itself but also during the data collection process. Our aim is to equip you with the necessary information on how to customize these features in a manner that respects user privacy to the fullest.

A Handshake with Your Consent Management Platform

One of the essential steps towards achieving a more privacy-oriented configuration is integrating your consent management platform, or “cookie banner”, with your tag management solution and analytics configuration. It’s vital to respect a user’s choice if they decide to opt-out. There are several ways to configure this, especially if you’re using Google Tag Manager.

A cost-effective option worth considering is CookieBot, which offers a comprehensive guide for integrating with Google Tag Manager. While deciding the finer implementation details, we advise seeking counsel from a legal expert. Regardless of the path chosen, setting up the necessary infrastructure will be a prerequisite.

Inside the Google Analytics 4 Toolbox: Privacy Settings

Account Level: Data Sharing Settings

At the highest level of your Google Analytics 4 admin settings, it’s possible to disable the “Data Sharing Settings” under “Account Settings.”

Google Analytics 4 Account Settings on Data Sharing (1)

Google Analytics 4 Account Settings on Data Sharing (2)

Property Level: Data Settings – Data Collection

Here, you have the option to either activate or deactivate Google Analytics Advertising Features. If you prefer to err on the side of caution, consider disabling “Enable Google signals data collection” and “Ads Personalisation” in all regions.

User Data Collection Acknowledgement

Google has put a spotlight on the need for businesses to take responsibility for personal data collection. The User Data Collection Acknowledgment is a setting that represents your commitment to informing your website visitors about data collection and obtaining their consent.

Google Analytics 4: Property Setting on Data Collection (1)

Google Analytics 4: Property Setting on Data Collection (2)

Property Level: Data Settings – Data Retention

Data Retention can be a tricky aspect to navigate. More data equals more usability; however, having data beyond 2 months requires conducting any analysis outside of Google Analytics. We suggest going with the 14-month option and disclosing this in your privacy policy. Yet, as trends evolve, the 2-month + Google BigQuery option may become more popular.

Google Analytics 4 Property Settings on Data Retention

Property Level: Product Links

Google Analytics offers deep integration with other Google Products, which, while being immensely useful, can pose privacy challenges. To ensure the utmost privacy, restrict your integration to the BigQuery export and the Google Search Console, provided you mention Google Cloud Platform as a data processor in your privacy policy.