A lot of us have been receiving emails from Google, specifically relating to changes to data retention in Analytics. They have made these changes to deal with new data protection laws required by the GDPR.
The laws apply to the European Economic Area (EEA), however the notice does recommend action if you reside outside of the EU.
“Today we introduced granular data retention controls that allow you to manage how long your user and event data is held on our servers. Starting May 25, 2018, user and event data will be retained according to these settings.”
By default, the cookie set by Google to a user is two years, and now we can adjust this by altering the setting within the Property of a Google Analytics account. This means that Google will delete all data associated with Cookies, user-identifiers and advertising-identifiers based on these settings.
Google has given the following example:
“If data retention is set to 14 months but a user initiates a new session every month, then that user’s identifier is refreshed every month and never reaches the 14-month expiry. If the user doesn’t initiate a new session before the retention period expires, then that user’s data is deleted.”
This doesn’t change your data in standard reports, and applies only to user identifiers.
Discuss this within your business, and change the settings as required. By default it is set to 26 months.