Does Google Analytics still work with Apple’s iOS14 & Big Sur?
Published on Jan 19, 2021 by Tim de Nood
The marketing world’s freaking out over the latest privacy updates during the past couple of weeks. So… what’s the fuss all about? And can you still analyze your site?
Can you continue using Google Analytics?
Mainly depending on what you want to do with it. (check the bottom of the article for tips on when or when not to use Google Analytics)
When Apple launched the latest versions of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS Big Sur, they threw in a lot of new privacy features to help protect users from being tracked across the internet.
Built into Safari across all three platforms, they launched a new ‘Privacy Report’ which provides a summary of the number of trackers blocked. You guessed it, the most frequently blocked tracker is currently Google Analytics. This makes it easy to assume that Apple is blocking Google Analytics from tracking your visitors and messing with your statistics. However, the truth is a bit more complicated than this. Let me explain…
Analytics without cookies? It’s possible, check it here.
Blocking Third-Party Tracking Cookies
As more information has surfaced, it appears that Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) in Safari 14 is not completely blocking Google Analytics. Instead, it’s blocking third-party tracking cookies and cross-site scripting requests, which limits portions of Google Analytics. The Privacy Report feature just reflects that. It seems that first-party Google Analytics cookies aren’t blocked, so it still functions as an analytics platform. However, you can’t use the platform any longer to retarget people across different sites. Oh, and in case you’re wondering: “What’s the difference between these cookies?” It’s this:
- First-party cookies are stored by the domain (website) you are visiting directly. They allow website owners to collect analytics data, remember language settings, and perform other useful actions that provide a better user experience.
- Third-party cookies are created by domains other than the one you are visiting directly, hence the name third-party. They are used for cross-site tracking, retargeting and ad-serving. (https://clearcode.cc/blog/difference-between-first-party-third-party-cookies/)
“People value privacy, so focusing on privacy with your site and business will make visitors happy.”
When or When Not To Use Google Analytics? That is the question…
Okay, so now we know what works with Google Analytics and what doesn’t. What’s the best advice for your specific situation?
You use Google Analytics for cross-site tracking, retargeting and ad-serving.
Advice: Abandon all hope. No, all joking aside, There are reasons behind Apple upgrading their protection of privacy. The most important is that people value privacy, so focusing on it with your site and business will make visitors happy. However, if you insist on tracking, you can read this article from Wpromote and take the time to figure out how tracking might work, though chances are that new updates will further limit tracking possibilities.
You use Google Analytics for insights on how your site is used, you like complexities, you’re okay with Google’s financial gain through data exploitation, and have no budget.
Advice: Although the interface is not very user-friendly, we suggest you continue using Google Analytics because it’s free, it works and you seem to enjoy figuring out the intricacies of the tool.
You use Google Analytics for insights on how your site is used, you want your insights quickly and easily, you value privacy and you want to own your data.
Advice: We advise you to try Simple Analytics. Next to being a lot simpler than Google Analytics, it allows you to own all your data. It is designed entirely around protecting users’ privacy. Plus, it also contains some cool features even Google is unable to give.
Is Simple Analytics Your Privacy-First Alternative For Google Analytics?
Many “free” tools like Google Analytics make their products available, so they can earn money from the data you and your users generate. The end result of all of this is that you are no longer the customer.
You are the product.
But NOT at Simple Analytics.
Privacy is a fundamental human right. And, more and more people are rightfully concerned about their privacy on the internet. That’s why they switch to privacy-centric apps or browsers.
Simple Analytics is a privacy-first analytics tool that quickly gives you ethically-gathered insights and bypasses ad-blockers. Since it is privacy-first analytics, it has zero problems with Apple’s new privacy updates.
Simple Analytics doesn’t place cookies (so adiós annoying cookie banners!)
You can use this tool legally without the need to place a cookie banner on your site. We suggest placing a “We’re proud to protect your privacy” badge on the footer of your page, providing your visitors with the safety and respect they seek.
Simple Analytics shows you the essentials instantly.
The dashboard shows you page views, referrers, top pages, countries, and screen sizes in a blink –all this very neatly–, so you won’t get lost and confused by the details. This way you can analyze what needs to be analyzed, so you can spend your precious time growing your business.
Simple Analytics gives you full control over your data.
We believe your data is your data. We don’t try to make financial gains through data-exploitation. That’s why many privacy-focused companies and governments gladly pay for the services of Simple Analytics.
Excited to experience how simply and smoothly you can get your analytics?
Further reading: “The easy answer to hard questions about analytics and privacy”