Restrict Google profiling engine

By studying various methodologies available to be compliant with the privacy law called GDPR. I investigated between different approach to give the user the possibility to limit the curiosity of the different user profiling services.

One among many: Google Analytics.

Every day, in our digital life, we are observed and profiled by Google and other companies that deal with website traffic analysis. These services were created to analyze the visibility of a website and to evaluate the value of those visits and gives to developers the possibility of monetizing the traffic on the website. Today, website traffic analysis services often go hand in hand with advertising services (see Google AdWords).

Today, these services have evolved and are able to understand a lot about us. They understand our tastes and needs of users. In some cases, they are even able to forecast them!

Here the GDPR intervenes, each user must be free to decide which information can be saved to their account and where they must be saved.

I discovered two legally available methods to give users the possibility to limit the data sent to profiling services.

  1. the website can ask the user if he wants to allow Google Analytics to analyze his movements on the web-site. This is usually done by big companies like HP, Microsoft and … me 😀
  2. web developers can explain on a dedicated message on the screen, how the user can prevent the site from tracking information regarding his navigation. In this second case there are many possibilities.

We are here to talk about the case where the developer leaves the responsibility of limiting profiling services to the user. One of the many possible solutions is the installation of a special Plug-In, released by Google, to make anonymous the collection of information on sites that integrate Google Analytics services.

The Plug-In is available for all the major browsers and can be downloaded at the following address:

https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout

The installation procedure is really simple:

  1. Click on button Get Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on
  2. confirm the downloading of the browser add-on
  3. once the download will be finished the web page containing installation instruction for your browser will be automatically shown
  4. follow the guide step by step
  5. close and restart your browser

This tool is very useful, but in my opinion the only way to be sure of not being too observed is the usage of the anonymous browsing mode of your browser.