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Are you damaging your reputation with Google Analytics? … And why we use Matomo!

You could lose your customers’ trust and risk damaging your reputation if people learn their data is used for Google’s “own purposes”. By choosing an ethical alternative such as Matomo, you won’t make privacy sacrifices or compromise your site. You can even use Matomo without needing to ask for cookie consent.

Background to Analytics

Google Analytics and Matomo are examples of analytical tools that give you useful information about visitors to your site. Every time a person visits your web site, they leave behind a trail of information that can be useful to you as a business owner. Information such as:

  • What is my most popular web site entry page?
  • How long do visitors stay on my site and which pages do they visit?
  • How did people find my web site?

In each of these tools there are literally hundreds of useful stats that can help you develop your web site in a positive direction. Amongst the factors that you should be aware of when selecting which analytics platform to use, you should most strongly consider those that relate to ownership and privacy.


If you use Google Analytics on your web site to track visits, then you have basically handed over the ownership of your web site visit data to Google. In this scenario (and according to the Google Analytics terms of use) you no longer own this data; Google can use your their data however they want to.

x Google collect and then store this visit data on their servers, not yours.

x Google will allow you to look at this data only for as long as you or your web site designer agree to their terms.

x Google will use this visit data to build profiles of internet users for their own re-marketing purposes.

Your use of Google Analytics could be costing you visitors (especially those that do not wish to be tracked and so leave your site) and you could in fact be helping Google direct visitors to your competitors web sites.


Very closely aligned to the element of ownership (where is my visit data stored?) is the element of privacy (who has access to my visit data?). By now you can already see that if you use Google Analytics on your web site, that data is stored on Google’s servers. In itself this is a legitimate privacy concern.

  • Did you tell your web site visitors that Google now have information that can track them across multiple web sites?
  • Have you documented this in your privacy policy in a clear way?
  • Regardless of these two questions, do you think this is morally acceptable?

There are dozens of reasons your web site visitors (especially the ethically minded ones) may wish to boycott web sites that use Google Analytics (or at least block cookies, rendering a good percentage of the analytics data useless) and so you really should spend some time looking at how you store and analyse visits to your web site.

A simple solution – Matomo.

The solution to this is a pretty simple one – you just need an analytics tool that does not transmit your visit data to a remote location. An “on-website” software solution will keep your visit data on your own web site, which immediately resolves the whole ‘ownership’ problem and addresses many of the privacy concerns your visitors may have.

We use it at IT\norwich

We use Matomo on our web site and so your visit data is not sent to a third party for “analysis”. It’s already proving to be a successful tool and so we’d encourage you to take a look at it.

Other Useful Links

Matomo Data Ownership & Privacy Conscious Tracking

Ethical Alternatives to Google

Firefox and DuckDuckGo

This article has been written in support of the IT\norwich Purpose and Values.

Last Updated 17th August 2021