Fathom That You Need Private Web AnalyticsPublished on: 2023-1-4
Until 2018 it was unfathomable to dethrone Google Analytics as the go-to tool for website traffic analytics. But as the dust settled after GDPR coming to life, it became clear that it is not yet another toothless regulation.
Google Analytics might be free, but the penalty for its improper use can result in a fine equivalent to 4% annual revenue or 20 million Euro. Depending on which is higher.
Not convinced? By running illegal link analytics and web data analytics, you can even end up in jail. This is a rare measure, but it is true, gross and repeated violation of GDPR can result in jail time.
In practice, criminal penalties for GDPR violations are likely to be reserved for the most serious cases, such as those involving large-scale or intentional data breaches or those that result in significant harm to individuals.
So yes, fathom this, you need GDPR-compliant web analytics. That's where Wide Angle Analytics steps in. With strict regulatory compliance and ever-growing portfolio of reports, it is quickly becoming a worthy Google Analytics replacement.
But compliance is not the only reason.
Google Analytics is Unreliable
Why is Google Analytics unreliable? And is it really?
There is no single source of truth, so we can't unequivocally say one way or another. But if we look at the current state of Internet usage and what we should expect from existing laws, the outlook for Google Analytics is rather bleak.
Google Is Generally Unwelcomed
Nowadays, plenty of Internet users sport some version of tracker or ad blocker. It comes prebaked in some popular browsers like Safari, DuckDuckGo, and Brave.
And Google Analytics is number one blocked tracker, as with its market share coming close to 73%, it is the most commonly used.
Chances are, that if you have any form of privacy protection built into your browser, Google Analytics will be blocked.
Intrusive Tracking Parameters Shall Not Pass
There are mainstream browsers, such as Brave and Firefox which will happily strip Facebook, Google's and Microsoft tracking parameters, such as fbclid, gclid and msclkid from the URL.
You can finally share, bookmark and past web addresses knowing that link analytics will not be able to reidentify you against vast data troves stored by the Big Tech.
Don't Touch That Google
Secondly, web analytics implemented with help of Google Analytics require explicit consent. And thanks to an organization such as NOYB, and their lead lawyer, Max Schrems, after March 2021 way more websites offer an easy Reject All button.
This seemingly trivial change enabled consumers to easily ditch the infamous Cookie Banner without sacrificing their human rights and can avoid undue tracking.
European Union and EEA, has combined population close to 500 million people. People whom you should care for as your potential customers. Even if your business is mostly US-centric, you are unlikely to write off the single biggest economic area with some of the wealthiest countries.
So, here we are, tracker blockers, link analytics filters and effective execution of existing laws mean that your GA dashboard is effectively a Swiss cheese rather than comprehensive landscape of your online audience.
What About Cookies?
Them cookies, should we even care? A poll from October 2022 indicate that nearly 73% of Internet users have sufficient understanding what cookies. This means that there is sufficient momentum for the issue to enter mainstream and consumer opinion. Cookies and debate around cookies is one to pay attention to.
The cookie, the small technical detail that make our online experience so delicious, has been abused by BigTech and AdTech industry. Its current usage is way past it Best Before date.
Are Cookieless Analytics your only choice?
Luckily, the answer is: No.
Wide Angle Analytics offers cookieless analytics, a perfect solution for your public facing website. But once you reel in a traveler to signup, and consent to more through analytics, you can deploy cookie-based web analytics with our solution.
Cookieless tracking with Wide Angle Analytics is great. Cookie-based tracking with Wide Angle Analytics is even better.
The cookie, when cared for and nurtured, will deliver value, giving you insight into how your users behave over the period of time. And Wide Angle Analytics cookies are safe, not leaky and generally cannot be tracked once your users leave the website.
- Google Analytics is unreliable.
- Google, Facebook, and other BigTech corporation face regulatory backlash.
- Consumer's understanding of privacy is improving.
- Fines for violations are high and frequent.
- Tracking is being actively blocked, not just by the fringe, but also mainstream vendors.
That is why you need privacy-friendly, compliant web analytics.
When in 2010 Avinash Kaushik dismissed Google Analytics alternatives on the pages of Web Analytics 2.0, claiming that “your privacy is not threatened” he probably didn't know how things will turn out a decade later.