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Balancing Risk and Reward: Is Google Analytics 4 CCPA Compliant?

Michael Morgan
Chief Revenue Officier
July 10, 2024
June 7, 2024
Combination chart with bar and pie elements displaying data trends.

Balancing risk and business necessity is a difficult task for any automotive dealer. In today’s world of privacy concerns and technological development the challenge is even greater. 

Recently, ComplyAuto, a well-intentioned company known for helping dealerships navigate compliance issues, caused concern by recommending a safe mode feature that would block some of Google Analytics tracking.

While their goal was to protect dealers from lawsuits, the potential protection may be the equivalent of selling your car to avoid getting into an accident.

How the Safe Mode Scare Started

In California, Google is facing class action claims that it collected and recorded private information from website users. Attorneys involved in these claims have said that Google’s actions violate state and federal wiretapping laws. Another lawsuit against a car dealership in New Jersey, also came out of California. ComplyAuto recognized these lawsuits as the “start of a litigation pattern.” 

In an effort to shield automotive dealers from potentially frivolous lawsuits, ComplyAuto sent an email on March 15th suggesting that dealerships activate "safe mode.” The drawback is that “safe mode” essentially disables a significant portion of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) tracking, a crucial tool that many dealerships use to optimize marketing efforts.

The way the original email was worded led many to believe that the data-protection measure was mandatory, which caused panic among marketers and dealers. Since that first communication, ComplyAuto has listened to dealer concerns and put forward some alternative solutions. 

“Safe mode” is now an opt-in feature rather than one that businesses will need to opt-out of. In the future, additional options like state-specific settings might help dealers fine-tune their privacy settings to meet the patchwork of standards across the country.

How Dealerships Can Balance Risk And Reward

The truth is, there's a delicate balance between legal compliance and marketing effectiveness. The issues come down to:

  • Choice vs. Coercion: While the email framed safe mode as a recommendation, the message felt like pressure. The mention of potential lawsuits without clear explanations about the likelihood of such suits caused anxiety. Making the feature opt-in only helped return choice to automotive dealers.

  • Liability Risk vs. Data Loss: In statements following the email, ComplyAuto downplayed the impact on GA4 data. By contrast, automotive marketing expert Brain Pasch projected that some of his clients could lose 70-85% of their tracking data. That’s a devastating loss for ads optimization where every click is valuable.

  • Threat vs. Ruling: Several marketing and technology experts have refuted the claim that GA4 violates California wiretapping laws. More than half of all websites around the world use Google Analytics. Most due so without issue. Attempting to target dealers using Google Analytics ignores broader industry practices.

Ultimately, every dealership needs to balance risk and reward based on their own risk tolerance. However, this decision should be based on facts, not fear. 

The Bottom Line On Google Analytics 4 and Privacy

Many tech industry experts contend that Google Analytics 4 — the latest version of Google Analytics — complies with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Theoretically, you should be able to use Google Analytics 4 without asking for explicit user consent as long as you do offer the opportunity for customers to opt out. You must also determine a data retention period and honor consumer requests to have their data removed. 

In practice, the question of whe

Here's the takeaway for dealerships:

  • Don't Panic: There have been few lawsuits based solely on GA usage and we don’t yet know the outcome of these. Focus on how to protect user privacy while meeting business needs rather than agonizing over potential lawsuits.

  • Consult Legal Counsel: Get legal advice specific to your dealership and situation. Review your website's privacy policy to ensure compliance with relevant state and federal laws.

  • Consider Alternatives: Explore options like stricter privacy disclosures or state-specific tracking adjustments. Focus on solutions that balance legal compliance with marketing effectiveness.

Launch Labs Protects User Privacy

At Launch Labs, we take privacy and information security seriously. When using our Ignite Audience Identification Platform consumer data is only collected after the consumer has given affirmative, opt-in consent to collect geolocation data. 

Although we strictly and conservatively apply privacy and data security guidelines to protect our clients and their customers, we encourage you to consult qualified legal counsel if you have questions about privacy policies, notices or consents and related legal requirements.

See how Ignite by Launch Labs can help you collect and use customer data while respecting privacy laws. Schedule your free demo today.

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Data

Balancing Risk and Reward: Is Google Analytics 4 CCPA Compliant?

Balancing risk and business necessity is a difficult task for any automotive dealer. In today’s world of privacy concerns and technological development the challenge is even greater. 

Recently, ComplyAuto, a well-intentioned company known for helping dealerships navigate compliance issues, caused concern by recommending a safe mode feature that would block some of Google Analytics tracking.

While their goal was to protect dealers from lawsuits, the potential protection may be the equivalent of selling your car to avoid getting into an accident.

How the Safe Mode Scare Started

In California, Google is facing class action claims that it collected and recorded private information from website users. Attorneys involved in these claims have said that Google’s actions violate state and federal wiretapping laws. Another lawsuit against a car dealership in New Jersey, also came out of California. ComplyAuto recognized these lawsuits as the “start of a litigation pattern.” 

In an effort to shield automotive dealers from potentially frivolous lawsuits, ComplyAuto sent an email on March 15th suggesting that dealerships activate "safe mode.” The drawback is that “safe mode” essentially disables a significant portion of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) tracking, a crucial tool that many dealerships use to optimize marketing efforts.

The way the original email was worded led many to believe that the data-protection measure was mandatory, which caused panic among marketers and dealers. Since that first communication, ComplyAuto has listened to dealer concerns and put forward some alternative solutions. 

“Safe mode” is now an opt-in feature rather than one that businesses will need to opt-out of. In the future, additional options like state-specific settings might help dealers fine-tune their privacy settings to meet the patchwork of standards across the country.

How Dealerships Can Balance Risk And Reward

The truth is, there's a delicate balance between legal compliance and marketing effectiveness. The issues come down to:

  • Choice vs. Coercion: While the email framed safe mode as a recommendation, the message felt like pressure. The mention of potential lawsuits without clear explanations about the likelihood of such suits caused anxiety. Making the feature opt-in only helped return choice to automotive dealers.

  • Liability Risk vs. Data Loss: In statements following the email, ComplyAuto downplayed the impact on GA4 data. By contrast, automotive marketing expert Brain Pasch projected that some of his clients could lose 70-85% of their tracking data. That’s a devastating loss for ads optimization where every click is valuable.

  • Threat vs. Ruling: Several marketing and technology experts have refuted the claim that GA4 violates California wiretapping laws. More than half of all websites around the world use Google Analytics. Most due so without issue. Attempting to target dealers using Google Analytics ignores broader industry practices.

Ultimately, every dealership needs to balance risk and reward based on their own risk tolerance. However, this decision should be based on facts, not fear. 

The Bottom Line On Google Analytics 4 and Privacy

Many tech industry experts contend that Google Analytics 4 — the latest version of Google Analytics — complies with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Theoretically, you should be able to use Google Analytics 4 without asking for explicit user consent as long as you do offer the opportunity for customers to opt out. You must also determine a data retention period and honor consumer requests to have their data removed. 

In practice, the question of whe

Here's the takeaway for dealerships:

  • Don't Panic: There have been few lawsuits based solely on GA usage and we don’t yet know the outcome of these. Focus on how to protect user privacy while meeting business needs rather than agonizing over potential lawsuits.

  • Consult Legal Counsel: Get legal advice specific to your dealership and situation. Review your website's privacy policy to ensure compliance with relevant state and federal laws.

  • Consider Alternatives: Explore options like stricter privacy disclosures or state-specific tracking adjustments. Focus on solutions that balance legal compliance with marketing effectiveness.

Launch Labs Protects User Privacy

At Launch Labs, we take privacy and information security seriously. When using our Ignite Audience Identification Platform consumer data is only collected after the consumer has given affirmative, opt-in consent to collect geolocation data. 

Although we strictly and conservatively apply privacy and data security guidelines to protect our clients and their customers, we encourage you to consult qualified legal counsel if you have questions about privacy policies, notices or consents and related legal requirements.

See how Ignite by Launch Labs can help you collect and use customer data while respecting privacy laws. Schedule your free demo today.

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Data

Balancing Risk and Reward: Is Google Analytics 4 CCPA Compliant?

Balancing risk and business necessity is a difficult task for any automotive dealer. In today’s world of privacy concerns and technological development the challenge is even greater. 

Recently, ComplyAuto, a well-intentioned company known for helping dealerships navigate compliance issues, caused concern by recommending a safe mode feature that would block some of Google Analytics tracking.

While their goal was to protect dealers from lawsuits, the potential protection may be the equivalent of selling your car to avoid getting into an accident.

How the Safe Mode Scare Started

In California, Google is facing class action claims that it collected and recorded private information from website users. Attorneys involved in these claims have said that Google’s actions violate state and federal wiretapping laws. Another lawsuit against a car dealership in New Jersey, also came out of California. ComplyAuto recognized these lawsuits as the “start of a litigation pattern.” 

In an effort to shield automotive dealers from potentially frivolous lawsuits, ComplyAuto sent an email on March 15th suggesting that dealerships activate "safe mode.” The drawback is that “safe mode” essentially disables a significant portion of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) tracking, a crucial tool that many dealerships use to optimize marketing efforts.

The way the original email was worded led many to believe that the data-protection measure was mandatory, which caused panic among marketers and dealers. Since that first communication, ComplyAuto has listened to dealer concerns and put forward some alternative solutions. 

“Safe mode” is now an opt-in feature rather than one that businesses will need to opt-out of. In the future, additional options like state-specific settings might help dealers fine-tune their privacy settings to meet the patchwork of standards across the country.

How Dealerships Can Balance Risk And Reward

The truth is, there's a delicate balance between legal compliance and marketing effectiveness. The issues come down to:

  • Choice vs. Coercion: While the email framed safe mode as a recommendation, the message felt like pressure. The mention of potential lawsuits without clear explanations about the likelihood of such suits caused anxiety. Making the feature opt-in only helped return choice to automotive dealers.

  • Liability Risk vs. Data Loss: In statements following the email, ComplyAuto downplayed the impact on GA4 data. By contrast, automotive marketing expert Brain Pasch projected that some of his clients could lose 70-85% of their tracking data. That’s a devastating loss for ads optimization where every click is valuable.

  • Threat vs. Ruling: Several marketing and technology experts have refuted the claim that GA4 violates California wiretapping laws. More than half of all websites around the world use Google Analytics. Most due so without issue. Attempting to target dealers using Google Analytics ignores broader industry practices.

Ultimately, every dealership needs to balance risk and reward based on their own risk tolerance. However, this decision should be based on facts, not fear. 

The Bottom Line On Google Analytics 4 and Privacy

Many tech industry experts contend that Google Analytics 4 — the latest version of Google Analytics — complies with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Theoretically, you should be able to use Google Analytics 4 without asking for explicit user consent as long as you do offer the opportunity for customers to opt out. You must also determine a data retention period and honor consumer requests to have their data removed. 

In practice, the question of whe

Here's the takeaway for dealerships:

  • Don't Panic: There have been few lawsuits based solely on GA usage and we don’t yet know the outcome of these. Focus on how to protect user privacy while meeting business needs rather than agonizing over potential lawsuits.

  • Consult Legal Counsel: Get legal advice specific to your dealership and situation. Review your website's privacy policy to ensure compliance with relevant state and federal laws.

  • Consider Alternatives: Explore options like stricter privacy disclosures or state-specific tracking adjustments. Focus on solutions that balance legal compliance with marketing effectiveness.

Launch Labs Protects User Privacy

At Launch Labs, we take privacy and information security seriously. When using our Ignite Audience Identification Platform consumer data is only collected after the consumer has given affirmative, opt-in consent to collect geolocation data. 

Although we strictly and conservatively apply privacy and data security guidelines to protect our clients and their customers, we encourage you to consult qualified legal counsel if you have questions about privacy policies, notices or consents and related legal requirements.

See how Ignite by Launch Labs can help you collect and use customer data while respecting privacy laws. Schedule your free demo today.

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