How can I get accurate statistics when visitors refuse to be tracked?

Necessary tools: Consent Manager

When people come to your website, they consent or not to data collection. If they agree, Piwik PRO captures their data and shows it in reports. If they disagree or ignore your consent window, two things may happen:

  1. If you enable anonymous data tracking in the website’s settings, data will still be collected, but it will be limited only to unidentifiable information. Piwik PRO will register an anonymous visitor and session, but won’t store a visitor ID or IP address. Also, when a visitor starts a session, Piwik PRO will set a temporary cookie in the visitor’s browser and will delete it 30 minutes later.
  2. If you disable anonymous data tracking in the website’s settings, no data will be collected. Piwik PRO won’t record any information about a visitor and his or her session.

Note: With enabled anonymous data tracking, a visitor who hasn’t made any decision about data collection is treated as an anonymous visitor.

Now here are some things to know when you analyze collected data about anonymous visitors:

  • Since we’re not using permanent cookies or other identifiable data, we treat each anonymous visitor as a new visitor. Therefore, in reports, you may see an overstated number of new visitors and an understated number of returning visitors.
  • You will still get accurate number of sessions, page views, and session time.
  • You will get accurate data about Country and City. Piwik PRO will capture this information from the full visitor’s IP address and then will mask it. IP addresses will appear with zeros in reports:

Turn on anonymous data tracking

To enable anonymous data tracking, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Administration.
  2. Navigate to Websites & apps.
  3. On the left, pick a website or app you want to work with.
  4. In Settings, scroll until you see Privacy.
  5. In Consent Manager, click Configure.
  6. Configuration of Consent Manager in Piwik PRO.
  7. Check Anonymous data tracking.
  8. Anonymous data tracking in Piwik PRO.
  9. Click OK.
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