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Is Adobe Analytics GDPR Compliant?

Simon Coulthard August 02, 2023

11 Minute Read

Is Adobe Analytics GDPR compliant? This question should be an easy thing to answer given Adobe's claims on the matter.

But it’s one thing for Adobe to say that they help with compliance, and another altogether for businesses to use this website integration in a way that respects data privacy requirements.

As such, navigating the intricate world of data privacy can feel a lot like trying to find your way through a storm.

This storm intensifies when dealing with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It's the strictest data privacy law globally, and one that every business needs to take into consideration.

The question at hand? Is Adobe Analytics, a tool sitting at the crossroads of data privacy and collection, GDPR compliant?

All things considered, yes; businesses can use this tool in a way that respects GDPR standards.

However, its data storage practices are somewhat questionable. It also uses cookies to track and analyze website visitors. Ultimately, this means that the integration needs to be set up properly if users are to sail in calm data privacy waters.

It's also having issues with Safari 17.0 blocking its tracking code.

But let’s go deeper into this subject.


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What is Adobe Analytics?

Let's put to one side the question of is Adobe Analytics GDPR compliant for one moment, and start by looking at what it exists for.

Adobe Analytics is a product from Adobe Systems, the creator of everyone’s favorite PDF reader.

It serves as an extremely proficient tool that provides businesses with powerful insights that they can use to increase website traffic.

By providing a deep dive into user behavior, Adobe Web Analytics - as it is otherwise known - equips website owners with valuable data they can use to steer their digital growth strategies.

Now, let's delve deeper into what Adobe Analytics offers.

Adobe Analytics Features

Adobe web analytics boasts a range of features that set it apart from the competition, with the main ones being:

  • Real-time analytics: Adobe Analytics values your time. It provides real-time data about your website or app's performance, empowering you to make immediate strategic decisions.
  • Advanced market segmentation: Adobe Analytics allows you to dissect your audience data as needed. Identify and group various user segments based on behaviors, preferences, and traits.
  • Predictive analytics: With Adobe Analytics, you can stay a step ahead. Its predictive analytics capabilities allow you to anticipate customer behavior and trends.
  • Anomaly detection: Don't miss any unexpected activity on your website. Adobe Analytics' anomaly detection feature pinpoints any patterns that deviate from the norm.

Taken together, Adobe Analytics provides an impressive array of features. It allows analysis of website visitor data from every conceivable angle and metric, positioning the platform on par with any other competitor in the analytics market.

However, it does lack the visitor communication features offered by advanced alternatives like TWIPLA. Customer feedback is a really useful way to fine tune digital optimization strategies. It enables you to confirm insights pulled from other tools, and can also reveal new areas for improvement that you hadn't thought of.

Pricing Structure

Adobe is admittedly very open about the wide range of cutting edge features it provides. It's just a shame that this transparency doesn't also extend to their pricing structure.

The company employs a quote-based approach. This requires you to reach out to them to get a personalized price plan tailored to your needs and operational scale.

Obviously, this makes it hard to quickly verify whether the price makes it right for your business.

However, we’ve looked into this so you don’t have to, and Adobe Analytics’ pricing structure is based around web traffic volumes. Prices start at around $2,000 per month for websites with low visitor numbers. However, larger businesses could easily spend over $8,000 a month.

That’s a shame on balance. For while it is a powerful platform, website owners can find many alternatives to Adobe Analytics that are much more cost effective.

TWIPLA is one such option. We offer a freemium monthly plan that is perfect for small businesses that are just getting started online. And once you start to get a higher number of monthly visits, you can upgrade to one of our paid plans.

Prices then start at $10.39 per month, and go up to $123.20 for our highest pricing level.

Of course, businesses can also go for a custom plan if they have a huge number of website visitors, but our highest paying client isn't paying even a quarter of the $8,000 that Adobe wants from their own enterprise customers. 

User Reviews

Users on G2, a popular review site, have given Adobe Analytics a respectable 4.1 score.

And while this doesn’t quite come close to the rating of competitor analytics integrations, it's still nothing to sniff at.

Users particularly value its ability to provide detailed, real-time data, setting it apart from other platforms. The software's powerful data analysis and reporting features also win plaudits, as does its sophisticated segmentation tool.

Ultimately, Adobe Analytics is widely recognized for its advanced real-time analysis, comprehensive reporting, and segmentation capabilities. And while there might be a learning curve involved, users find the benefits and depth of insights well worth the effort.

Why the GDPR Compliance of Adobe Analytics Matters

If you’ve stumbled across this article, you’ve no doubt already heard about GDPR - a crucial piece of legislation that was introduced in 2018.

In brief, it's all about protecting the privacy of individuals within the EU and the EEA. It also governs how personal data is transferred outside these areas, and even US companies are affected by GDPR.

So, what makes GDPR such a big deal?

It's more than a handful of suggestions - it's a firm set of rules. Disobey, and you could end up paying fines as high as €20 million or 4% of your annual global turnover.

And Adobe Analytics is a data powerhouse, churning through demographic info, user behavior, device data, and so on. Now, here's where it gets interesting. Some of this data might be personal data under GDPR. If your site or app uses Adobe Analytics and reaches folks in the EU or EEA, then you'd better make sure you're playing by the GDPR rules.

And, don't forget about cookies either. Adobe Analytics uses them to gather data. Cookies, being savvy little trackers of online behavior, are squarely within the GDPR's sights. We've already written about data privacy legislation and EU cookie compliance, but Adobe's use of cookies means you need a robust, clear cookie policy that follows GDPR principles to the letter.

But here's the upside. Getting to grips with GDPR and aligning your data practices isn't just about dodging fines. It's about trust - building website credibility with your visitors. When people know their data is handled responsibly, they feel safer. That safety can translate into better engagement, loyalty, and customer retention.

So, in short, GDPR isn't something Adobe Analytics users can simply shrug off. Staying compliant isn't just about following rules - it's about safeguarding your users and their faith in your brand.

Breaking Down the GDPR Compliance of Adobe Analytics

Now that you’ve got a general idea about Adobe Analytics and its functionality, we’re now ready to tackle the question you came here for. Is Adobe Analytics GDPR compliant?

The short answer is yes, it can be. Helpfully, the  company also has a page on its website where it offers advice on how you can configure it to meet data privacy requirements.

However, there are still a range of issues that the integration’s users should be aware of.

Let’s dissect these issues piece by piece:

Data Collection and the GDPR Compliance of Adobe Analytics

Adobe Analytics works in much the same way as Google Analytics - a popular website analytics platform that has had some much publicized problems around GDPR compliance over the last few years.

If you want to learn more, we've created a colorful infographic that shows why Google Analytics is not GDPR compliant.

Like Google Analytics, Adobe data collection means that it amasses a wide array of information on website visitors. And some of this, inevitably, inevitably, is personal data.

Adobe tracking also works through the use of cookies. This means that GDPR rules apply directly to the platform. According to Europe's personal data privacy law, you need explicit user consent to collect this kind of data from your website visitors.

Thankfully, Adobe provides an option to select regional data collection points. This means if you select Europe, your data could be collected in either Ireland or Paris - bringing it in line with GDPR requirements.

Data Processing and the GDPR Compliance of Adobe Analytics

The GDPR compliance of its users becomes more complex due to Adobe Analytics' data processing practices.

To comply with GDPR, you need to ensure that EU citizen personal data does not leave the physical boundaries of the European Union, given that the data is stored in multiple data processing centers worldwide.

Before Brexit affected the UK's relationship with GDPR, this meant configuring the integration so that data was processed in its London based data center. And while the UK is no longer in the EU, the EU GDPR adequacy decision means that data can continue to flow from the EEA to the UK in most cases without violating the EU law.

Cloud Concerns and the GDPR Compliance of Adobe Analytics

Adobe Analytics secures data in Adobe Experience Cloud, a suite providing comprehensive solutions for data storage, analysis, and management.

However, this raises concerns about its GDPR compliance, with a recent German court case focusing attention on whether a US-owned cloud provider can be GDPR compliant. The court has not yet resolved this case, and the implications for Adobe Analytics remain unclear.

The European Data Protection Board's press release announces a future focus on the GDPR compliance of cloud providers, but they still didn't provide a clear answer as of July 2023.

Verdict: Is Adobe Analytics GDPR Compliant?

Adobe Analytics is a data behemoth, dealing with a vast amount of data, and much of this will be considered personal data under GDPR.

And under the law, this means that user businesses must obtain explicit opt-in consent for this data collection.

This makes it of utmost importance to have a rock-solid Privacy Policy in place if Adobe Analytics is part of your website or app.

Moreover, there's also another crucial aspect to consider.

Adobe Analytics also leverages cookies for data collection.

This fact makes it necessary to have a comprehensive Cookie Policy, clearly outlining the usage of cookies on your website. And if you need help, we've created a cookie policy template that you can use!

Beyond this, users must also calibrate Adobe Analytics properly to prevent personal data from leaving the physical boundaries of the EU. Alternatively, they can look for countries that have an EU GDPR adequacy agreement, which does not include the US.

However, even if you take all these measures, the potential risk of an unfavorable Cloud Act ruling still lurks in the background.

And while we wait for a definitive answer here, all signs point to Adobe Analytics being more compliant than not.

TWIPLA: Far Surpassing the GDPR compliance of Adobe Analytics

As you can see, it requires work and technical knowhow to use Adobe Analytics in a way that respects GDPR requirements. Furthermore, doubts persist about the continued GDPR compliance of the cloud software that Adobe Analytics uses.

Given this, businesses wanting to capitalize on website traffic data within the limits set by GDPR and other data privacy laws might want to choose an alternative to Adobe Analytics, and think about using TWIPLA.

Unlike Adobe Analytics, our platform doesn't use cookies to collect website visitor data . This means that cookie consent banners are not needed to meet EU data privacy requirements, and won't moreover hamper the user experience on offer.

Instead, our platform uses advanced cookieless technology to anonymize users, and you can set the degree of this anonymization in the privacy center. We've also written extensively about cookieless tracking if you want to learn more about this fascinating innovation.

Our platform also stores data within the EU and, in the default maximum privacy mode, it collects all data according to GDPR standards.

Comprehensive Website Intelligence Features

Beyond being data privacy-perfect, this means that the integration comes with all the features available to website analysts - surpassing Adobe Analytics's range of tools.

Put another way, TWIPLA includes the exhaustive range of website intelligence features. These include complete website statistics, visitor behavioral tools, and visitor communication features, giving website owners everything they need to optimize their digital growth strategies around actionable, data driven insights.

And since our tracking technology can’t be blocked by users like cookie-based alternatives, it also collects far more data than Adobe Analytics, and provides the highest level of insight accuracy.


Unlock Your Website's True Potential

Our advanced website intelligence solution will enable anyone to grow their website quickly - all while staying data privacy compliant!

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That’s the GDPR Compliance of Adobe Analytics Explained!

In sum, navigating the tumultuous waters of data privacy can be a formidable task. This also makes answering the question of is Adobe Analytics GDPR compliant more arduous than we would like!

Adobe Analytics is certainly a powerful - if expensive - tool, and our development team are impressed by the design of its features.

And as a privacy-first company, we also recognize the work they’ve put in to facilitate the GDPR compliance of users.

However, they still use cookies and this means that these workarounds are clumsy at best. And in practice, users will find they have constant work to do to ensure that they meet data privacy requirements.

As such, why not switch to TWIPLA, a no-fuss solution?

As a leader in the privacy-first analytics market with over 2.5 million active downloads, TWIPLA provides an excellent balance between data insight accuracy and privacy.

 It's user-friendly, fully GDPR-compliant, and doesn't compromise on functionality.

Ready for smooth sailing in the world of data privacy? Then sign up for TWIPLA today and get real peace of mind knowing that you're on the right side of data privacy laws!


Is Adobe Analytics GDPR compliant?

Adobe claims that its analytics tool is GDPR compliant, but a closer look says otherwise. Adobe uses cookies, and its data storage points are scattered around the world. This gives users work to do to set up the platform in a way that meets data privacy standards. They also need to adapt their cookie consent processes and wider data management practices. A better option is TWIPLA. It comes privacy-perfect straight out of the box, removing the work and headaches that come from cookie-based alternatives like Adobe Analytics.

Where is Adobe Analytics data stored?

Adobe Analytics houses all this information in various global data centers. However, if you hold EU citizenship, Adobe Analytics has the capacity to transfer your data to a rented data center located in London - a location that, while no longer within the EU, holds a GDPR Adequacy Ruling.

Does Adobe Analytics store personal data?

Yes, Adobe Analytics does hold on to some personal data - namely cookies and usage data. If you're going to use Adobe Analytics on your site or app, you've got to let your users know. In practice, this means updating your privacy policy so that it details your cookie practices, as well as your cookie policy - something that our cookie policy template can help you with.

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