Demographics and Interests data collection and thresholds

This article explains the sources from which Analytics collects Demographics and Interests data, and the circumstances under which data thresholds are enforced to ensure user privacy.

In this article:

Data collection

Once you update Analytics to support Advertiser Features, Analytics collects Demographics and Interests data from the following sources:

  • The third-party DoubleClick cookie. Applies to web-browser activity only. When this cookie is present, Analytics collects any demographic and interest information available in the cookie.
  • The Android Advertising ID. Applies to app activity only. When you update the Analytics tracking code in an Android app to collect the Advertising ID, Analytics generates an anonymous identifier based on the ID that includes demographic and interest information associated with users’ app activity.
  • The iOS Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). Applies to app activity only. When you update the Analytics tracking code in an iOS app to collect the IDFA, Analytics generates an anonymous identifier based on the IDFA that includes demographic and interest information associated with users’ app activity.

When the DoubleClick cookie or anonymous identifier is not present, or no activity profile is included, Analytics cannot collect Demographics and Interests information. Consequently, Demographics and Interests data may only be available for a subset of your users, and may not represent the overall composition of your traffic. The graphs and the first row of the Sessions column in the Overview report display the percentage of your overall data that is represented (for example, Age - 41.39% of total sessions).

Data thresholds

Thresholds are applied to prevent anyone viewing a report from inferring the demographics or interests of individual users. When a report contains Age, Gender, or Interest Category (as a primary or secondary dimension, or as part of an applied segment), a threshold may be applied and some data may be withheld from the report. For example, if there are fewer than N instances of Gender=male in a report, then data for the male dimension may be withheld.

If a threshold has been applied to a report, you will see a notice below the report title.