Hounded by privacy watchdogs in the United
States and overseas, Google May 25 made good
on its March promise
to deliver an opt-out plug-in that allows Google
Analytics users to hide what Websites they're visiting.
is a suite of business intelligence software that tells Website
publishers how users are interacting with their properties and whether their
AdWords and AdSense marketing campaigns are effective.
The program's effectiveness is dictated by the information the tool gathers about
how often users visit Websites.
For such a service, Google is challenged in finding a balance between trying
to collect enough data to help advertisers tailor their campaigns and
respecting Web surfers' privacy.
Some users don't want Google tracking their frequenting of Websites. Now
Google has delivered an answer for that quandary.
The Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on stops data from being sent from
to track usage.
The beta version of the Analytics opt-out is available to users here
Internet Explorer (versions 7 and 8), Google Chrome (4.x and higher) and
Mozilla Firefox (3.5 and higher).
Google Analytics also uses the IP address, that unique identifier assigned
to users' personal computers, of Website visitors to provide Analytics users
geographic reporting information.
To provide more user privacy, Google also released a tracking API
that lets Website owners anonymize
information sent to Google about users' IP addresses.
The tool lets Website owners decide whether they want to have Google
Analytics store and use only a portion of the IP address for geographic
The new privacy tools come in the middle of a war U.S. and European regulators are
waging versus Google on
multiple fronts, mostly stemming from the company's increased presence on the
Google has always been hounded for its data collection practices, but recent
privacy gaffes involving Google Buzz
and WiFi spying
via Street View have forced Google to not only be
more transparent about its business practices, but to provide users with greater
control over the data they create by using Google's applications.
The Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on is the latest tool and comes
just a day after Google revealed its revenue splits
for its AdSense for content and
AdSense for search products.