GDPR, Google Analytics & User Deletion

Jason Brewster - June 12, 2018

You may have heard this one before “Data cannot be deleted after being recorded in Google Analytics”. This is why the technical aspects of web analytics are very focused on getting things right the first time, filtering out potential spammers before they inflate traffic and sometimes finagling the reports to ignore fake traffic that got through despite your best efforts. The Google Analytics User Deletion API can help to remove spam related user data in addition processing delete requests from European users.

The Google Analytics User Deletion API

The User Deletion API is designed to assist with GDPR compliance. If a user has PII (personally identifiable information) in GA – it can now be deleted using this API. It is important to note that it is against the terms and conditions of Google Analytic to store PII in the platform. The definition of PII can be murky as different organizations define PII differently. ICO believes that cookies and IP addresses are PII whereas Google does not. Regardless of their stance on PII, they have still provided a User Deletion API that can be used to delete user data as needed.

This API is an extension of the Analytics API (Not the Analytics Reporting API). This API serves three major purposes – managing account users, provisioning Google Analytics accounts and deleting user data. The User Deletion API can be used to delete users by Google Analytics and Firebase identifiers.

MoreVisibility analytics & developer services can assist with creating applications to delete these records in an automated fashion to save your organization time and money.

For small businesses with only a couple deletion requests a year, it is now possible to manually delete users from the interface.

Step 1: Log into Google Analytics

Step 2: Go to Audience > User Explorer


Step 3: Find the User ID or Client ID that needs to be deleted and click it

Step 4: Read the warning and accept the terms. It is important to note that this is not reversible and the data will be gone forever.

After deleting a user you can confirm its success in the user explorer report in Google Analytics User Explorer.

Remember that user deletion can’t be reversed – so when you chose to remove them it will be final.

If you have any other questions or need help automating your user deletion process please reach out to or fill our form for a complimentary consultation.

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