Google Analytics prohibiting collection of personally identifiable information. If detected, Google may delete PII from your reports. Therefore, Google Analytics users should be proactive in detecting and removing PII if needed.
I explain how to do it in this post.
The best way to remove PII is not to send it to Analytics to begin with. For more, see “Best practices to avoid sending personally identifiable information (PII),"A Google post.
In the article above, Google explains where to look for PII in your reports. The main areas are:
- User ID settings,
- Content settings (pages and page titles),
- Event settings (category, action, label),
- Ecommerce settings (credit card, customer name, shipping and billing address, phone number),
- Campaign dimensions (source, medium, campaign, ad content, term field),
- Site search settings (keywords or category),
- Custom dimensions.
The screenshot below is an example of PII data. The source field contains an email address, and the Medium field contains a phone number that I have partially hidden.
I have created and Google Data Studio report to detect PII. It shouldn't be your only method of detection, but it should work in most cases. Monitor this report regularly. Change the filters to fit your installation and take action if PII is detected.
Google provides a process for removing PII. Navigate to Administrator> Property> Data Deletion Request> Create Data Deletion Request.
Enter "Start Date", "End Date" and "Field to Delete." In the example below, I'm deleting "All" fields because my campaign URL parameters contained PII and "All" is required to delete this data.
After clicking "Submit", the status is "In grace period." It takes at least seven days for Google to remove the information. Check after a week or so to confirm.
You can cancel the removal request in the meantime. To do this, click on "In the deduction period" in the table and go to the "Data Line Request Review" page (below), which contains the status, details and the option to cancel.
When the data removal request is completed, Google will notify you in an email. In addition, the status will be updated to "Completed."
Finally, confirm that Google has removed PII in your reports. The example Procurement Report above included my e-mail address and telephone number in the Source / Medium fields. Note below that both are now gone.