Updates To Your Sites Privacy Policy When Using Google Analytics And The Type Of Cookies Google Uses

The moment is upon you. You have just convinced your company to start using Google Analytics instead of the server side application your company once used. Did you know that you need to update your site’s privacy policy?
The advertising features activated in Google Analytics are: remarketing, Google Display Impression Reporting, Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting and Integrated Services that require Google Analytics to collect data for advertising purposes, including the collection of data via advertising cookies and identifiers.

When you implement Google Analytics or any of Google’s Analytics advertising features on your site, you are required to notify your users of the following:

  • The Google Analytics Advertising features you’ve implemented.
  • How you and third-party vendors use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookie) or other first-party identifiers, and third-party cookies (such as Google advertising cookies) or other third-party identifiers together.
  • How visitors can opt-out of the Google Analytics Advertising features you use, including through Ads Settings, Ad Settings for mobile apps, or any other available means (for example, the NAI’s consumer opt-out).

You must include a link to their opt out page.
You must also comply with the European Union user consent policy. For more information, please go to the EU User Consent Policy.

The Types of Cookies Google Uses:

Google uses various different types of cookies to run its analytics and advertising products. They are broken down as follows:

Preference Cookies: Preference cookies allow Google to remember how a web site’s structure, navigation or how your preferred language or region may have changed. Preference cookies are labeled as NID cookies. NID cookies have a unique ID, Google uses this to remember your preferences and other information, such as your chosen language (e.g. English), how many search results you like shown on your page (e.g. 10 or 20), and whether or not you wish to have Google’s SafeSearch filters enabled.

Security Cookies: Security cookies are used to authenticate users on your web site, prevent fraud and protect data from authorized users. Security cookies use SID’ and ‘HSID’ values which contain digitally signed and encrypted records of a user’s Google account ID and most recent sign-in time. The combination of these two cookies allows us to block many types of attack, such as attempts to steal the content of forms that you complete on web pages.

Process Cookies: Process cookies help make the web site work and deliver the user around the site. For example, the ‘LBCS’ cookie makes it possible for users to open up documents.

Advertising Cookies: Advertising cookies make advertising more engaging for users and more valuable for publishers. Some examples are:

  • NID and SID to help customize ads on Google properties, like Google Search.
  • ‘id’ or ‘IDE‘,DSID, FLC, AID, TAID, and exchange_uid. are stored in browsers under the domain doubleclick.net on non-Google sites.
  • The Doubleclick product itself uses a cookie named ‘gads’ that is set on a site a user visits.
  • Conversion cookies to track how many time someone clicks on an ad or buys a product.
  • Finally, Google uses cookies called ‘AID‘ and ‘TAID‘ to track device usage.

Session State Cookies: Session state cookies track information on how a user interacts with a web site. Google uses this information to improve a user’s browsing experience.

And last, but not least, the Google Analytics cookies, which helps web site owners track how users engage with their web sites and app properties.

Analytics.js Cookies:

Analytics.js sets the following first party cookies:

Ga.js Cookies

The ga.js library uses the following first party cookies:

Summary

To learn more information on Google Analytics cookie usage, please see “Google Analytics Cookie Usage on Websites”.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to update your site’s privacy policy. Enjoy!

Published by

Mary Kay Lofurno

Mary Kay Lofurno Analytics Product Author Mary is an analytical interactive marketer that has expertise in: online marketing, web events, e-mail marketing, lead generation, subscriber acquisition, customer acquisition and retention programs, user interface design and development, direct mail, web traffic analysis, search-engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media, web 2.0 marketing, database marketing, pod casting, video optimization, content tagging, commenting, long tail search, events, marketing technology infrastructure, marketing automation, campaign and project management.