Google will soon be upgrading to version 4 of its Analytics platform, for what changes?

Alexander Boero

March 21, 2022 at 10:40 a.m.


Google Analytics 4 © Google


The eponymous Google Analytics platform will stop collecting statistics in its current version from 1er July 2023. It will be replaced by a tool that does not rely exclusively on cookies.

A step is being taken in terms of measuring site visits by Internet users. The Mountain View company’s in-house tool, Google Analytics, will drop the flag, at least for its two most recent versions, “Universal Analytics”, which is a bit like the standard version, and “Analytics 360”. In short, it is a version more in line with what authorities like the CNIL demand that Google is gradually deploying. It is called Google Analytics 4, and can already be activated by website or mobile application owners.

What you need to know to use the right version of Google Analytics

What you need to know is that today, Google Analytics 4 has become the American company’s next-generation measurement solution. The one that Google wants to impose on all sites (media, e-commerce and others) that wish to obtain measurements of a certain precision on the visitors who frequent them.

In a blog post published a few days ago, Google explains that Universal Analytics “properties” (a property is a website, blog or mobile application that is associated with a unique tracking ID) will stop processing new hits (here include interactions that allow data from site activity to be sent to Analytics) from 1er July 2023.

In other words, this means that you can safely continue to use the Universal Analytics version until that date, but after that date, you will have to switch to Google Analytics 4. It will also be possible to access the data previously processed in your Universal Analytics property for six months. Google recommends exporting report history, if in doubt. It should also be noted that all managers and creators of sites, applications or other blogs having created a property before October 14, 2020 are for the most part concerned. Those who created a property after October 14, 2020 either already have a Google Analytics 4 property (in this case, you don’t have to do anything), or an Analytics 360 property, an experience introduced in October 2021 which will be deprecated a a little later, on the 1er October 2023, take note! Google therefore intends to move quickly.

“Google Analytics 4”, what does it change then?

While Universal Analytics works thanks to cookies, Google Analytics 4 suffers (much) less from this dependency and uses a more event-based data model, to then provide user-centric measurement. The American giant places a greater share of confidentiality in its measurements, the tool for example no longer storing the IP addresses of Internet users and mobile users.

Last February, the CNIL criticized Google for tracking users via Google Analytics, using a unique identifier, considered as personal data, an identifier transferred by Google to the United States, like the data are associated. The French data policeman recalls that the transfer of data to the USA can only take place if this country offers a sufficient level of data protection with regard to the RGPD, which is not the case with the current use of Google. Analytics.

The CNIL, which received multiple complaints from EU countries, had given several site managers a month to equip themselves with a solution that could help them comply. Time will tell if the new version of Google’s Analytics eases tensions in this area.

On the same subject :
Is Google Analytics illegal under the GDPR? Everything you need to know about the CNIL’s decision

Source: Google Blog

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