The Switch to Google Analytics 4

Attention: All RubyLaw clients and any website administrators currently tracking user behavior with Google’s Universal Analytics.

Why this is important: Google’s Universal Analytics will no longer process new data in standard properties beginning July 1, 2023. Google is recommending that users prepare now by setting up and switching over to a Google Analytics 4 (“GA4”) property

GA4 includes significant changes to how user behavior is tracked, categorized and reported.  Designed with privacy at its core to provide a better experience for users, GA4 offers more comprehensive and granular controls for data collection and usage. Additionally, it will no longer store IP addresses, which are classified as Personally Identifiable Information (PII). These solutions and controls are necessary for today’s international data privacy landscape, where users are increasingly expecting more privacy protections and control over their data.

Please note: GA4 will only track data from the time you set it up on your website and onward. It will not retroactively include the analytics data/reporting tracked by your current Universal Analytics. For this reason, we recommend that you set up GA4 on your website(s) now and build up a healthy foundation of metrics for current and future use.

Why this is happening now: In addition to the evolving privacy-friendly regulatory landscape, business and consumer needs and expectations are also shifting towards data privacy. In turn, Google is updating its Chrome and Analytics products to maintain browser dominance and user preference for the Google ecosystem, i.e., Google’s leading market position, as part of an overall revamping of its data privacy strategy. 

This includes a Privacy Sandbox mission, focused on deprecating third-party cookies on the Chrome browser. The deprecation of third-party cookies on Chrome (which is likely to be followed by all other modern browsers) will start in late 2022. The final phase of cookie deprecation is slated for completion by the end of 2023. Since Universal Analytics includes the use of third-party cookies, GA4’s non-cookie approach conforms to data privacy regulations and rulings (GDPR, Austrian DSB Ruling). 

Action taken by RubensteinTech: Please contact our Client Experience team to begin setting up GA4 on your existing Analytics accounts now. You may also need to update any third-party cookie management tools (e.g., OneTrust, CivicUK, Cookiebot) you have in place. We can also perform an audit of your cookies as a first step to ensure that your firm has a proper plan in place for third-party cookies on your site in late 2022/2023. 

If your firm prefers a higher level of privacy and complete control over your visitor data, RubyLaw Analytics is an alternative to Google Analytics which is both fully privacy compliant and does not share any data with Google or other third-parties. Contact our Client Experience team for details on this new solution we began offering to selected RubyLaw users earlier this year.

For more information, please visit the following: 
Google’s Universal Analytics
Switching over to Google Analytics 4
GA4 Setup Assistant
Google’s Privacy Sandbox
How to setup GA4 using Tag Manager