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This month, Google Analytics introduced data retention control that can be adjusted by the admins. “The Google Analytics Data Retention controls give the ability to set the amount of time before user-level and event-level data stored by Google Analytics is automatically deleted from Analytics’ servers,” wrote Google. The settings will not take effect until May 25, 2018, the day GDPR takes effect.
By default, Data Retention settings have a retention of 26 months and “reset on new activity” is ON:
Admins of Google Analytics have the option to have a data retention of 14 months; 26 months; 38 months; 50 months; or Do not automatically expire. Aggregated data is not affected when the user data is deleted. The retention period applies to user-level and event-level data associated with cookies, user-identifiers (e.g., User-ID) and advertising identifiers (e.g., DoubleClick cookies, Android’s Advertising ID, Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers).
Google has a “reset on new activity”, that by default is ON. This means the “reset of the retention period of the user identifier with each new event from that user.” If GA admins do not want the retention period for a user identifier reset when that user has new activity, admins can now turn this option OFF.
Data retention controls are available on Admin, Property, Tracking Info, Data Retention.