With privacy concerns over various Google products seemingly cropping up every week, the company said today that it will soon let web users opt-out of being tracked by its popular Google Analytics software.
The news comes in a blog post today that says a browser-based plugin will be available “globally … in the coming weeks.”
Over the past year, we have been exploring ways to offer users more choice on how their data is collected by Google Analytics. We concluded that the best approach would be to develop a global browser based plug-in to allow users to opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics. Our engineers are now hard at work finalizing and testing this opt-out functionality.
It’s a smart move for Google to make this available; the company can point to it as needed when defending against accusations from privacy watchdogs. When Google launched its behavioral targeting ads beta last year, it included two opt-out methods — one of which was a browser plug-in — as a proactive response to privacy concerns.
Asked about the impact on web site owners, Google Analytics Group Product Manager Amy Chang sounded unconcerned. “Analytics reports will continue to provide advertisers with robust and valuable data to help improve their websites and advertising campaigns,” she said via email.