Google lets users opt out of Analytics web tracking

Web browser add-on stops tracking scripts

Article comments

Google has released an add on for web browsers that allows users to opt out of its Google Analytics website tracking service. Google’s blog post announcing the software claims the move is calculated to "provide even more choice and transparency for both website owners and users".

Website owners, including the majority of the top 10,000 most visited sites on the Internet, use the free Analytics service to track and profile visitors to their websites. Until recently, it was impossible for a visitor to one of these websites to stop their information becoming available to the website owner.

With the plugin installed, visitors to a site using Google Analytics do not report any personal data to the Google Analytics Javascript query code. This may lead to website owners receiving inaccurate information on the amount of traffic to their sites, which hasn't gone down well with all web admins.

User 'Frank' wrote in the official comment thread: "I'm really amazed you opened this door. It's absolutely terrible in my mind. It's almost as bad as a bait and switch... I track conversions through Google Analytics and now my numbers are going to be off because people can opt out. I would love to hear about your reasoning for this. Each web site should have the ability to allow this plugin to work or not. I signed up because I want 100% of my visitors data available to me so I can make better decisions."

However, 'Richard' mades the point that "you're not getting 100% at the moment, it's dead easy for a tech savvy person to disable javascript and a lot of them do, but this probably amounts to <1% of your visitors... Back to web server logs it is for most of us then."

It is not clear at this stage whether the plugin stops Google Analytics from registering a page view whenever a user with it installed lands on the site, or merely blocks data that could be used to identify them.

The plugin can be downloaded from Google's website.

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