In 2016, the European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation, also known as GDPR. It is a regulation which aims to protect the data privacy of European Union citizens and residents.
How Does GDPR Affect Me?
Foreign companies that process data of EU citizens must comply with GDPR. This means US companies like Google must comply, or face heavy fines.
Google recently updated their data retention settings for all Google Analytics users to comply with new regulations. Now, all personal user data will expire 26 months after the date it is collected.
This applies to all Google Analytics users, and will happen by default unless you take action.
When Does This Take Effect?
Although it was enacted in 2016, companies were given a two year adoption period. This means GDPR is enforceable starting on May 25, 2018. Google, and other companies, will start removing data on this date.
How Can I Retain My Data?
There is a way to retain your data before it disappears on May 25. You will need to log in to Google Analytics and change the default of 26 months to an indefinite amount of time. Here's how.
- Log in to your Google Analytics account and go to the Admin section.
- Navigate to Account column on the left, and click on Account Settings.
- Scroll down to Data Processing Agreement and click on Review Amendment.
- Review the amendment on the pop-up window and then click Accept.
- Once you’ve clicked Accept, the pop-up window will go away. Click Save to bind the agreement.
- Navigate to Property column of Admin section, which will be the middle column. Click on Tracking Info, then click on Data Retention.
- For the drop down next to User and Event Data Retention, select Do Not Automatically Expire. Click Save.