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Website Analytics - Tracking and Logging Forum

'Do Not Track', Google Analytics, Apache
Late to the party and confused, can someone break it down for me?

 5:50 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've just updated to IE10 and have therefore tried to find out what the state of play is about 'Do Not Track'. After 45 minutes of searching and reading I'm confused.

I can find no announcements from Google on the subject. I've read that Apache say they are not going to honour this directive, but I don't know what this means in practice.

DNT is turned on in IE10 by default.

Does this mean that Analytics will not show the visit?

Or does it mean that the visit will be recorded as a hit but with no other metrics (keyword, entry page, user location, time on site etc) - like a global 'not provided'?

And if the site runs on Apache (as virtually all of the ones I'm involved in do) does this mean that tools other than Analytics, that rely on the server logs instead, will be unaffected?

A 'DNT for Dummies' guide would be much appreciated :)



 7:23 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

If the site uses piwik, you will be tracked when you use MSIE10. I can say that for 100% because I looked it up earlier today. A pair of from-the-horse's-mouth links are next door [webmasterworld.com] ;)

I've yet to find an explanation of what the ### Apache is supposed to do about the header, though-- short of outright not logging visits, which would cross the line from protecting privacy to falsifying information.


 6:54 am on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks Lucy, I've read those links, and a bit more around the web, and from what I can see this is a little like robots.txt - no-one is under any obligation (yet) to honour a DNT request.

I still can't find any information about whether Google Analytics honours DNT. There is a browser plugin to opt out of Analytics: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout - but that's all I can find. No announcement either way gives me the feeling that they're keeping quiet on this because they won't (honour it).


 8:19 am on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

My [completely uneducated] thought was that DNT was primarily about advertisers not tracking someone across multiple sites. The sort of thing where you search for blue widgets on one site, and then for the next month see adverts for blue widgets on all other sites. I never thought analytics would have been affected.

But I could be wrong, I'm no authority on it.


 9:43 am on May 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

DNT was primarily about advertisers not tracking someone across multiple sites.

Yup-- but then you have to sit down and figure out what that means in concrete physical terms. What happens, what doesn't happen?

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