A Thought On Google Analytics

Being a rather late user or adapter of Google Analytics I was amused to find the following question and answer while searching and reading the help section of Google Analytics

Is there a report that displays IP addresses?

Due to user privacy concerns, Google Analytics doesn’t report on personally identifiable information, including a visitor’s IP address. Instead, Google Analytics provides aggregated data to help you make informed business decisions. You can view the Map Overlay report (under the Visitors section) to look at aggregated geographical data about your visitors, or view the Network Location report (under Visitors > Network Properties) to see your visitors’ ISP locations.

It is extremely odd that a search engine which undoubtedly collects quite a bit of information from its search (and other services) users decides to withhold information in this manner in the name of privacy. There are 100s of visitor statistics scripts that allow the user to classify and view site visitors sorted by IP. It is baffling to call all those privacy invaders. It is perhaps even more puzzling to assume that if any Google Analytics user sees something like “125.12.12.12” he or she can or will somehow use that for something other than being a good webmaster.

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