Google set to improve Analytics privacy

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Web giant to offer opt-out option.

Google is developing a plug-in for its flagship web analytics product designed to allow users to opt-out of being tracked by the service.

In a blog posting, Google Analytics group product manager Amy Chang explained that the firm’s engineers are currently “finalising and testing” the new opt-out functionality which is slated for roll-out globally in the next few weeks.

“As an enterprise-class web analytics solution, Google Analytics not only provides site owners with information on their website traffic and marketing effectiveness, it also does so with high regard for protecting user data privacy,” wrote Chang.

“Over the past year, we have been exploring ways to offer users more choice on how their data is collected by Google Analytics.”

Google technologies have been criticised for infringing on user privacy with increasing regularity this year. The Analytics announcement comes as a 24 year-old Harvard Law School student filed a class action suit against the web giant alleging that its new Buzz social networking tool invaded her privacy.

Although Google has made a number of changes to Buzz, many users and privacy advocates are still not satisfied with the service, feeling that they were automatically opted-in without giving their explicit consent.

"It is not so much that we are expecting to get millions of people hundreds of dollars," said one of the student’s attorneys this week.

"What we would like to see is a commitment from Google that it is not going to do this again the next time it launches a product."

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