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Google Analytics announces new data retention controls

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This article tells you about Google Analytics announces new data retention controls.

The 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 that advises us:

“We have recently launched new data retention controls that can affect your data as of May 25, 2018. Review your configuration and make the necessary changes.”

The full explanation of the controls work can be found in the Analytics help center here.

Many users, frustrated by the lack of clear guidance so far, will welcome this (perhaps more) direct response from Google Analytics to the next presentation of the GDPR across the European Union on May 28.

Who does this affect?

In summary, all.

If you have a Google Analytics account, you will need to decide how long you want to retain the user’s data and choose one of the 4 available periods of time or “Do not expire automatically”:

  • 14 months
  • 26 months
  • 38 months
  • 50 months

It does not expire automatically

Fundamentally, this will apply to both active and legacy Google Analytics, so if you have a collection of accounts, perhaps due to having multiple sites / applications or have had to change accounts for any reason over the years , you should change the settings here as well.

My Views

*Updated

From the moment of writing my original publication, the option “Do not expire data automatically” appeared, which makes the previous advice redundant.

Now, it’s as simple as selecting the “Do not automatically expire data” option in any Google Analytics profile where you want to keep your data.
Next steps

As before, select the option “Do not expire data automatically”, however, if you want your data to be deleted after certain periods of time, my advice would be to export the higher level traffic data before expiration so that it has some form of past records of previous references if necessary in the future.

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