back to article Google Analytics crippled by autoimmune disease

You have no interest in using Google Gmail? You're not alone. Google Analytics feels much the same way. Hugh Abbott, a London-based IT consultant, runs Google Analytics on behalf of several clients, generating detailed reports on the traffic hitting their websites. Naturally, there are times when he's interested in sharing …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    The Cobbler's Childern are Barefoot

    It would not be the first time technologies from the same firm are incompatible.

  2. Alex Wright


    It Works For Me (TM).

    Maybe its because they haven't set their Google account up properly.

  3. Matt

    gmail for business

    Why oh why are companies still using third party email providers for their business?

  4. Grant

    Maybe just not linked

    I know last year I got one of my clients with gmail to see their google analyticts but I had to send them a link google analytics page because the analytics link would not appear on their google panels. If the were logged in to their gmail and then went to the link things worked ok.

    So does it still work?

  5. john jones

    cant Spend money on adwords either

    anayltics also has another problem

    lets say you have regional websites i.e. , and

    you want to spend dollars ($) on while also the marketing dept in uk spend Pounds (£) on the .co.UK website


    only one account is allowed to spend money on adwords campaign at any one time

    thats crazy how much money have they thrown away ???




  6. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

    Something to hide?

    Google can't possibly be doing this to hide the amount of spam issuing from gmail. Oh no, surely not. Such a thought would never cross their minds. That would be Doing Evil.

  7. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    @TW Burger

    They're not really from the same company: Google bought Analytics when it bought the company Urchin. I think Googlemail is their own vomit.

    Does Mr. Abbott advise his clients that using Analytics is possibly in breach of data protection legislation?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have Google Analytics blocked at all times

    it's bad enough the Big G snooping on me, let alone its minions

  9. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

    @ The Cobbler's Children are Barefoot

    Exactly. Apple are up to the same tricks in fact - anyone who's upgraded to Safari 3.2.1 and been unable to maintain a session in gmail might appreciate this.

  10. James

    Not just Google

    Facebook has a similar anomaly: if I create an event, I can invite anybody to it by email address - unless that address is associated with a Facebook account, in which case I can only invite that person if they're on my friends list. Presumably Analytics (and Facebook) is identifying these addresses as belonging to user accounts and handling them differently, then in this case there's some bug with the latter process.

    @Charlie Clark: "data protection legislation" bans me from knowing the rough location and configuration of my websites' visitors?! I've heard it used as an excuse for all sorts of institutional stupidity, but if it actually says I'm not allowed to analyse the things Analytics collects, the authors need a serious battering with the clue-by-four.

  11. Adam



    The only reason I can think of under the DPA is sending the information outside of the EU....

  12. Steven Wilber

    @googlemail -> @gmail

    We had the same problem, but resolved it by replacing the users login from either @googlemail to @gmail or the other way round. It seems that Google is getting confused.


  13. leexgx

    most likey an bug ?

    most likely an bug that no one has reported ?

  14. Alex Wright

    @Matt - gmail for business

    Why do people use GMail for business?

    Because its better than most business' email systems perhaps?

    Certainly better than any I've worked in - particularly for remote access.

  15. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: gmail for business

    "Why oh why are companies still using third party email providers for their business?"

    Why oh why is anyone still using a free email provider for anything? Hint to the clueless: if you prefix all your email subject lines with "[SPAM]" then that's probably less likely to get you dropped by any half-decent filter.

  16. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    re. Data Protection

    While there is indeed some discussion about whether you should even be allowed to keep webserver logs, the real data protection issue is making them available to a third party, ie, Google, without the *express* permission of the owner.

  17. Steve Roper

    More on data protection

    As a web dev company, we stopped using Google Analytics some months ago as we noticed an increasing percentage of unlogged visits - i.e. people using various blockers to block or deny We subsquently developed our own in-house tracking system which is woven into each site's server-side code, and is therefore unblockable without blocking the entire website.

    Information we collect from visitors includes: IP address, ISP, country of origin, browser type and version, time of access, pathing information (a list of pages on the site visited by the client in order and time elapsed between page deliveries), and most information submitted by the visitor on various site forms. Credit card, banking and paypal etc. details are not retained after being passed to the appropriate transaction-processing entity, for obvious reasons. All information retained is stored encrypted and provided only to the website owner (our client). Our website owners are advised that they must legally abide by the privacy policy they provide us for publication on their site.

    This information provides us, and our clients, with essential statistical and demographic information required for site maintenance, marketing and planning. It provides us with valuable feedback about the ease-of-use and navigability of our sites, which we incorporate into site upgrades and future development projects. Without this information, neither we nor our clients have a business.

    So data protection laws and google-blockers notwithstanding, we have a duty to our stakeholders and clients to ensure we can provide accurate information about their site usage. Yes, I am in favour of privacy protection, which is why we only share what we collect with the relevant client on a need-to-know basis. But it is easy to carry this concept into the realm of paranoia, which is why we were forced to go in-house with our tracking.

    As with any website - our site, our rules.

  18. Francis Irving
    Thumb Up


    If you want something with the ease of use and javascript gathering methodology of Google Analytics, but without potential privacy problems, I highly recommend piwik.

    It's an open source remaking of Google Analytics, and it's already very good and improving fast. You have to install it on your own server, but it's just PHP and MySQL so that is pretty easy to do. From then on it is as easy to configure and use as the Google stuff.

  19. Rochak Chauhan
    Thumb Down

    I disagree

    Well I have set up 4 emails and 10 website. It worked like a charm for us. Guess it must be some isolated incident.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    No problem here

    Been using GA with clients who have gmail accounts for a long time, never had problems getting them access to their reports

  21. Matt
    Paris Hilton

    @Charlie Clark, James & Adam

    The DPA does not cover ANYTHING provided by Analytics. The DPA is there to protect individuals' PERSONAL data. There is NOTHING in Analytics, unless you're doing something VERY naughty with your website's data, that could constitute a breach of that. You would probably need to put the users data into the URL itself to breach the DPA - personally, I don't know any developers that would do anything that moronic.

    Paris, because she knows all about divulging personal stuff!

  22. Anonymous Coward

    analytics reports

    this is simply not true. I've been using Google Analytics for a while and always had my reports sent properly to any gmail address of my choice.

  23. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Black Helicopters


    IP addresses can be treated as personal information particularly on a corporate network. The Data Protection Act certainly does prohibit passing on personal information electronically to third parties. On top of that, of course, is the Google cookie that gets set which is not at all required for the service. I know that the issue is currently under review in Germany with the recommendation to ban the use of Google Analytics likely. One of the companies I work is looking to ban the use of Analytics worldwide. But as I said in my initial post the use is currently only a possible breach of data protection legislation.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Matt - gmail for business

    gmail is far superior to the internal mail systems of companies I have worked for:

    it searches better, keeps a longer history, and is more reliable.

    i wish, i wish, i wish my company would adopt gmail - then maybe i wouldn't have to ARCHIVE(!) my emails!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    you do realise that the DPA covers the processing of all data, personal data is only a part of that that's treated more securely. And since a court has ruled that an ip address is personally identifiable data, that probably covers a hell of a lot that google gathers.

    @ ac

    gmail for business, are you insane? you are opening up all of your companies communications to a third party, who have specifically stated that they will scan those communications for commercial purposes!! It may provide more functionality, but falls over badly in the security department, at least internal mail is internal!

  26. JT2008
    Gates Horns


    "Why oh why are companies still using third party email providers for their business?"

    Because it's free Ubuntu.

    Not that I agree with it ....but you asked.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    No good for a civilisation collapse or 'library burning'

    People in Businesses tend to use external email accounts because the company email servers is either underpowered, doesn't allow large emails, can be snooped on by IT, or has brain-dead attachment filtering! I've seen it, from both sides!

    Anyhow, I filter out Google Analytics, and other tracking sites, in my work and home Firefox (thanks to Adblock Plus and NoScript), because I like privacy and fast web page rendering. If companies want tracking, they should do it via their web server pages or logs!

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