Google Analytics is Blocked by Firefox, Mozilla Explains Why [UPDATED] via @MattGSouthern

Google Analytics is Blocked by Firefox, Mozilla Explains Why [UPDATED] via @MattGSouthern


Representatives from Mozilla, parent company of Firefox, have explained why the browser is now blocking Google Analytics by default.

An updated version of the Firefox browser was released this week which blocks all trackers including Google Analytics.

That means traffic data may be affected when visitors are using the latest version of Firefox.

Mozilla claims it’s making this change in order to keep users’ data private.

In an exchange on Twitter between Joe Youngblood and multiple Mozilla employees, the company offered a further explanation for blocking Google Analytics.

Whose data is that you claim we’re taking away. I assert that it’s the user’s data and the user has a right to keep it private. If the user wants to share her traffic data with a website she can disable the tracking protection.

— Asa Dotzler (@asadotzler) June 4, 2019

Most trackers collect identificable aggregated data, including fingerprinting user without notice. It was about time to time to stop such abuses.

— Nukeador (@nukeador) June 4, 2019

Personally I don’t like GA, but my understanding is that GA for business has a different privacy and data retention policy and our legal team reviewed it.

— Nukeador (@nukeador) June 4, 2019

Note that the Mozilla employee mentioned he personally doesn’t like Google Analytics. If that sentiment is shared within the company, could their personal feelings about Google Analytics be behind their decision to block it?

Whatever the case may be, one thing that can’t be disputed is how important Google Analytics’ data is for businesses and site owners.

It offers a wealth of non-personally identifiable data and businesses will be worse off by having reduced access to it.

Traffic from users on other browsers will be tracked as usual, although this does create a slippery slope.

Now that Firefox has blocked all trackers by default, who else will follow its lead?

UPDATE: According to a Firefox developer most of Google Analytics’ data will be unaffected, which is great news for SEOs and site owners.

“The analytics functionality of GA (as used to prepare reports for a site owner) is a 1st-party cookie. So users will still count toward a site’s GA stats, like users of Apple ITP.”

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