no worries, it is an AS3 forum indeed but focused on building apps
and analytics is one of the many subjects related to apps
Sorry but no.
Google Analytics (let's use GA) is a tracker that generate a unique anonymous id
in general stored in your browser cookies.
It does not combine it to your gmail, you don't end up with a non-anonymous profile.
In fact, if you were to store someone email (gmail or not) associated with the GA data,
Google would shut down your account.
see Measurement Protocol, SDK, and User ID Feature Policy
You must not upload any data that allows Google to personally identify an individual (such as certain names, Social Security Numbers, email addresses, or any similar data), or data that permanently identifies a particular device (such as a unique device identifier if such an identifier cannot be reset).
This is called retargeted advertising
see What is ReTargeting and How Does it Work?
What is ReTargeting and How Does it Work?
Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a form of online advertising that can help you keep your brand in front of bounced traffic after they leave your website. For most websites, only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit. Retargeting is a tool designed to help companies reach the 98% of users who don’t convert right away.
How Does ReTargeting Work?
Here’s how it works: you place a small, unobtrusive piece of code on your website (this code is sometimes referred to as a pixel). The code, or pixel, is unnoticeable to your site visitors and won’t affect your site’s performance. Every time a new visitor comes to your site, the code drops an anonymous browser cookie. Later, when your cookied visitors browse the Web, the cookie will let your retargeting provider know when to serve ads, ensuring that your ads are served to only to people who have previously visited your site.
Retargeting is so effective because it focuses your advertising spend on people who are already familiar with your brand and have recently demonstrated interest. That’s why most marketers who use it see a higher ROI than from most other digital channels.
When Does ReTargeting Work?
Retargeting is a powerful branding and conversion optimization tool, but it works best if it’s part of a larger digital strategy.
Retargeting works best in conjunction with inbound and outbound marketing or demand generation. Strategies involving content marketing, AdWords, and targeted display are great for driving traffic, but they don’t help with conversion optimization. Conversely, retargeting can help increase conversions, but it can’t drive people to your site. Your best chance of success is using one or more tools to drive traffic and retargeting to get the most out of that traffic.
And like you I don't like it, most users don't like it but in itself it is part of the advertising industry on the web
Personally I particularly hate it when I did buy that toaster and after I bought it it still shows ads for toasters ...
thank you I need 1 not 10
But that's the same on TV, you could watch a TV commercial where everyone is cool and happy while drinking a particular soft drink and realise you have the very same soft drink in your hand, the TV does not know that, they still gonna show you the ads
There are legitimate use of tracking, and using trackers does not automatically imply you do retargeted advertising
Take Amazon for example, it will do retargeted advertising on you, it does not use google analytics, they use their own tracking system.
The technology is kind of builtin into the browser and have been abused for decades,
wether a cookie and/or a tracking pixel (also know as "web bug"), it can track a visitor on a web page, even in their email when such email is HTML, etc.
If you don't want to be tracked as a user you could install a browser addon like uBlock Origin but that's about it, all the developers could stop using GA it would not prevent all the others to keep tracking the users.
In fact, you can track users even without cookies and pixel, you can do it on the backend from your server logs and it would be 100% invisible to the users, and it can not be blocked by things like uBlock Origin.
For each visit to a web site, the browser when it sends a request also send
- your IP address
- your User-Agent
- your Browser Headers (language, etc)
those 3 little bits of infos make you 98% uniquely identifiable
see A Primer on Information Theory and Privacy
There is a mathematical quantity which allows us to measure how close a fact comes to revealing somebody's identity uniquely. That quantity is called entropy, and it's often measured in bits. Intuitively you can think of entropy being generalization of the number of different possibilities there are for a random variable: if there are two possibilities, there is 1 bit of entropy; if there are four possibilities, there are 2 bits of entropy, etc. Adding one more bit of entropy doubles the number of possibilities.
Because there are around 7 billion humans on the planet, the identity of a random, unknown person contains just under 33 bits of entropy (two to the power of 33 is 8 billion). When we learn a new fact about a person, that fact reduces the entropy of their identity by a certain amount.
also check out
DEFCON 18: How Unique Is Your Browser?
a report on the Panopticlick experiment
by Peter Eckersley (EFF)
and the slides
and then off course try for yourself on
so I did try with uBlock Origin active and JS blocked
and here the result I got
Your browser fingerprint appears to be unique among the 2,267,429 tested in the past 45 days.
Currently, we estimate that your browser has a fingerprint that conveys at least 21.11 bits of identifying information.
I'm in the average stats
You are amalgamating different stuff that have nothing to do with each others
Google+ data breach is not the same thing at all as tracking users with cookie using Google Analytics
My point is simple, removing tracking altogether from your site will not protect your users more,
and technically you're making yourself a disservice because tracking allow you to improve your sites and/or apps.
by tracking all the user-agent accessing one of my site
I can help protect the security of my site, eg. protecting against bad robots
by tracking an app either GUI or CLI I can see the volume of users "searching for help"
and improve either the UI or the help system even before users complain about it
and I got plenty more but I'll keep it here, just saying I understand when people value the privacy of their users, I do too, but tracking is not the problem, advertising that reuse tracking data is the problem.
The same you can not say "remove all tracking", you can not say "remove all cookies",
no cookies mean you can not have session cookie anymore and that's bad.