This article is about Universal Analytics, which is going away. It's critical that you migrate your Universal Analytics property settings to Google Analytics 4, or you will begin to lose data on July 1, 2023 (July 1, 2024 for Analytics 360 properties). Learn how to migrate your settings.

Universal Analytics usage guidelines

The following conditions apply to Universal Analytics:

Data limits apply to Universal Analytics.

The data limits for standard and premium accounts apply to Universal Analytics. Data processing might be restricted to once a day if collection exceeds these limits.

Analytics customers are prohibited from sending personal information to Google.

The Analytics terms of service, which all Analytics customers must adhere to, prohibits sending personally identifiable information (PII) to Analytics (such as names, social security numbers, email addresses, or any similar data), or data that permanently identifies a particular device (such as a mobile phone’s unique device identifier if such an identifier cannot be reset). Learn more about how to avoid sending PII. Your Analytics account could be terminated and your data destroyed if you use any of this information.

Custom dimensions are the new custom variables.

Custom dimensions give you a flexible way to bring additional data into Analytics, so you can learn more about how users interact with your content. Custom dimensions should be used in Universal Analytics where custom variables are used in the Classic Analytics ga.js JavaScript library.

Referrals are processed differently than in in previous versions of Analytics.

By default, all referrals trigger a new session in Universal Analytics. For example, if a user is on your site, leaves but then immediately returns, this user has logged 2 sessions. You can, however, modify your tracking code to exclude all traffic from specific domains as referral traffic with the referral exclusions.

Data sent via a Universal Analytics collection method can only be processed by a Universal Analytics property.

When you implement a Universal Analytics collection method, like the analytics.js JavaScript for websites, SDK v2.x or higher for mobile apps, or the Measurement Protocol for other digital devices, you must send this data to a Universal Analytics enabled property. Data sent from one of these methods to a classic Analytics property will not be processed.

Tell users that you use Universal Analytics, and let them know their options.

Let your users know about these Analytics features, and give them proper notice about your implementation changes. Get consent or provide an opportunity to opt-out of your services.

When you implement Universal Analytics, it is your responsibility to ensure that your use is legally compliant, including with any local or regional requirements for specific notification to users.

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