If I understand correctly the following (point & from GA TOS):

  1. PRIVACY . You will not (and will not allow any third party to) use the Service to track or collect personally identifiable information of Internet users, nor will You (or will You allow any third party to) associate any data gathered from Your website(s) (or such third parties' website(s)) with any personally identifying information from any source as part of Your use (or such third parties' use) of the Service. You will have and abide by an appropriate privacy policy and will comply with all applicable laws relating to the collection of information from visitors to Your websites. You must post a privacy policy and that policy must provide notice of your use of a cookie that collects anonymous traffic data.

You are not allowed to use custom variables that will identify the visitor(for example website username, e-mail, id etc.) So the question is how can I track a specific user behaviour(for example the actions that every single logged in user do).

  • What's behind your web site? Some CMS apps can do this, or have plugins that do, for example. It also might help if you state what behavior it is you want to track, as some may be more involved to do.
    – Su'
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 2:31

3 Answers 3


If you don't require a Google Analytics solution then you could try out Piwik http://piwik.org/ - It's got similar functionality and is open-source so you can do what you like with it. However, you want to consider the server load involved with hosting your own tracking solution as it can add up if you get a lot of traffic.


You can write your own event logger.

The best way will be to have a URL structure like... http://yoursite.com/[email protected]&page=homepage&clicked_on=top_banner

Then you can store all that data in a database. You can invoke these URL's via JavaScript (say, when a user clicks on a link) or trigger them from the backend on page load.

  • The idea for custom logger is good, but I don`t like to put e-mails in URLs. Using a POST would be better. Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 8:50
  • 1
    Or just put the user's ID. You can always map him back in the database. Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 9:19

Track the user's IP in a custom variable and then monitor your logs.


I stand corrected - apparently Google considers IP addresses to be personally-identifiable information in this context.

The "no IP information" convention is inconvenient and disingenuous given that Google must have this information to service requests (and to provide country/region/city and network provider data) - judging by the linked explanation, my guess is that the policy is in place to indemnify Google when people use the service to store information which is or may become regulated.

I suppose you're on your own as Google apparently does not want you to use their service for this purpose - this is a case where you will have to rely upon your own logging utilities.

  • Last time I read Googles TOS on the subject they claim to process the IP's for Geocoding etc then purge them from the system... Commented Mar 9, 2011 at 8:45
  • @Ewan I thought they kept IP addresses for nine months, and then truncated them (but only a little) and kept them indefinitely.
    – Andy
    Commented Mar 9, 2011 at 12:17

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