Recently Google started sending an email introducing new data retention controls that allow users to manage how long their data is stored by Google Analytics. This data will be automatically deleted from Analytics’ servers after the prescribed time set by the user. By default, this is set to 26 weeks. The new data retention settings will soon take effect - on May 25, 2018.
Google is letting their customers control this data, which is very cool!
Here is the email they sent their users
Impact of Google Analytics Data retention
- Any user and event data that is older than your retention setting will be marked for permanent deletion, and will no longer be accessible in Google Analytics.
- Deletion will affect the use of segmentation, some custom reports and secondary dimensions when applied in date ranges older than your retention setting.
- Reports based on aggregated data will not be affected.
What’s User and event data retention
The retention period applies to user-level and event-level data associated with cookies, user-identifiers (e.g., User-ID) and advertising identifiers (e.g., DoubleClick cookies, Android’s Advertising ID, Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers).
Keep in mind that standard aggregated Google Analytics reporting is not affected. The user and event data managed by this setting is needed only when you use certain advanced features like applying custom segments to reports or creating unusual custom reports.
Set the options to how long Analytics retains data before automatically deleting it
Please review and confirm these settings (Property ➝ Tracking Info ➝ Data Retention) as Google Analytics will begin to delete data according to these settings starting May 25.
You can choose how long Analytics retains data before automatically deleting it:
- 14 months
- 26 months
- 38 months
- 50 months
- Do not automatically expire
When data reaches the end of the retention period, it is deleted automatically on a monthly basis.
If you change the retention period, then any affected data is deleted during the next monthly process. For example, if you change from 26 months to 14 months, then any data older than 14 months is deleted during the next monthly process.
Whenever you modify the retention period, Analytics waits 24 hours before implementing the change. During this 24-hour period, you can revert your change and your data will be unaffected.
Find out more how Google Analytics is committed to safeguarding your data.