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Server Side Tracking GDPR compliant

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How to implement server side tracking/tagging in compliance with GDPR? What needs to be considered in relation to the GDPR? What is the difference between …

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How to implement server side tracking/tagging in compliance with GDPR? What needs to be considered in relation to the GDPR? What is the difference between service side tracking and client side tracking?

What is Server Side Tracking/Tagging?

Server side tracking, also sometimes referred to as server side tagging, has recently been touted as the “GDPR-compliant tracking solution” because cookies can be dispensed with.
Server side tracking is not the same as server side tagging. Tracking means “following up”, tagging means aggregating information.
However, server side tracking is not a new technique or technology.

Classic tracking (client side tracking) is initiated by a client. With this, data is sent directly from the browser or an app to the tracking server (e.g. Google Analytics Server).

With server side tracking, the tracking events are sent from the app or website to its own server, which forwards these events to the analysis server. If one speaks of server side tagging, before forwarding to the analysis server, further information is added and only then forwarded. This means that data collection and processing takes place on the server, allowing for more secure and efficient data collection.

One of the main advantages of server-side tagging is that it is less prone to being blocked by browsers or ad blockers compared to client-side tracking methods. This makes server-side tagging a more reliable way to analyze user data and provide more accurate insights into user behavior.

Implement server side tracking/tagging GDPR compliant

Regarding GDPR, there is no difference between client side tracking and server side tracking. For each form, a technical implementation that complies with the GDPR regulations must be ensured.

Below are the top considerations for website owners:

  • Consent Management: Website and application owners must have a clear and transparent privacy policy that explains the type of data that they collect, how they use it, and how users can control their data.
  • Data Privacy: Server side tagging must comply with the GDPR’s requirements for data privacy, including data protection and secure storage.
  • Data Erasure: Server side tagging must also comply with the GDPR’s “right to erasure”, which gives individuals the right to request the deletion of their personal data. This means that website and application owners must have processes in place to delete user data when requested.
  • Data Processing: The server side tagging implementation must also comply with the GDPR’s requirements for data processing, including data minimization, purpose limitation, and data security.

In conclusion, server side tagging is a powerful method of tracking user data, but it requires a technically sound implementation that complies with the GDPR regulations. By prioritizing user privacy and data protection, website and application owners can use server side tagging to gather valuable insights into user behavior in a secure and compliant manner.

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