The EU’s new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) require that businesses are able to delete any data they collect about people upon request. This also includes your web analytics tools that collect your website visitors’ data. Fortunately Google Analytics recently launched a feature that makes this easy. If one of your website visitors contacts you to request that their data be deleted then follow this simple process.
Step 1: Determining the Client ID
The first step is to determine the visitor’s Client ID. The Client ID is an anonymous ID that Google uses to identify returning visitors. It is stored on the visitor’s computer in the form of a cookie. You will need the visitor’s help to get their Client ID. This however can be simple.
- If your visitor is using Firefox or Chrome then they will need to open the Developer’s Tools from the browser’s main menu.
- Ask your visitor to navigate to your site in their browser.
- In the Console tab of the Developer’s Tools they should input the following code and press enter:
- This will return the Client ID. It will look similar to 1234567890.1234567890
- Your visitor should send you the Client ID.
Step 2: Deleting the Visitor’s Data
Once you have the visitor’s Client ID you can easily delete their data in Google Analytics.
- In Google Analytics navigate to the User Explorer. This can be find under Audience in the menu on the left of the screen.
- In the filter text box paste your user’s Client ID and hit enter. Make sure the date range you have selected is long enough for the visitors Client ID to be found.
- Once you have found the visitor’s Client ID in the User Explorer click on it.
- You will now see a detailed overview of the visitor’s activity. This is the User Report. Scroll to the bottom of the page.
- On the left side of the User Report you will see the Delete User button. Click this.
- You will see a warning that explains that this is a permanent deletion and that the data will be removed from the User Report within 72 hours and from the Analytics servers within 63 days.
- Click OK to permanently delete the visitor’s data.
That is all there is to deleting your visitors’ data. Remember that you do not need to do this unless one of your website visitors specifically requests it. If you have any questions then send me an email.