IP Anonymization in Siteimprove Analytics
By Sean Needham
When a web analytics provider tracks visitor data from your website it collects visitors' IP addresses.
User IP addresses can be considered as personal data. Anonymizing visitors’ IP addresses is a legal requirement in some countries and can be used as one part of protecting personal data under Data Privacy regulations (e.g. GDPR).
In Siteimprove Analytics, you can configure IP addresses anonymization of visitors to your websites under Visitor Privacy in settings. Read more in the Settings: IP Address Anonymization and Do Not Track article.
What happens when I anonymize IP addresses?
- If you decide to anonymize IP addresses, Siteimprove will discard the IP addresses and in their place store and present blank data in the form of xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx.
- Once IP anonymization is turned on Siteimprove no longer has access to this data. It is not possible for Siteimprove to recreate these IP addresses.
- Siteimprove cannot create a connection between IP addresses and visitor data. You will not be able to filter/segment data based on IP addresses within Siteimprove Analytics. Therefore, it will not be possible to differentiate between external website visitors and visitors from your own organization based on IP addresses.
- Once enabled there is a 72-hour delay before IP addresses are anonymized. This allows you to reverse your changes during that period if necessary.
It will, however, be possible to segment visitor data by organization using filters. Learn more about how to filter data by organizations.
How can we determine the visitor's organization and location if IP anonymization is enabled?
If IP Anonymization is enabled, we do not store visitor IP addresses in our databases. We do carry out some analysis to determine the organization behind the IP and geo-location details before the data is sent to the database. This means organizations and locations can still be displayed in our platform without saving IP addresses.
Excluding traffic from certain IP addresses before anonymization
It is possible to exclude traffic from certain IP addresses before anonymization is enabled. So for example, you can anonymize IP addresses but still exclude internal employee traffic from Analytics, i.e. traffic from internal sources will not be recorded in Analytics.
- Go to Analytics > Analytics Setting > Tracking > Data Exclusion Settings
Here you have the option to exclude traffic based on specific IP groups using the Exclude specific IP groups dropdown. You can find out more about creating IP groups in the article, “How to create an IP group for filtering in Analytics”.
Also see this related article: How to exclude crawler traffic from Analytics.
Allow visitors to opt-out of being tracked
In some cases, you may want to allow visitors to opt-out of being tracked on your website with Siteimprove Analytics, then you can also create an opt-out button on your website. Learn more about how to set up an opt-out button.