Europa Analytics is the corporate service which monitors and evaluates the effectiveness and efficiency of the Europa website. It uses the open-source analytics platform Piwik which runs on a PHP/MySQL webserver. The installed instance is fully controlled by the European Commission and complies with EU data protection law1. This means that it ensures end-user data protection thanks to features such as source data anonymisation and opt-out mechanisms for users.
Europa Analytics' privacy protection aspects have been validated by the Data Protection Officer of the European Commission.
Europa Analytics is configured to use the second level domain europa.eu (used by European institutions' websites) and to store first-party cookies that expire after 13 months. A cookie is a small piece of data that a website asks the visitor to be stored on his/her computer or mobile device.
Cookies used by Europa Analytics enable the EC to track the following information about visitors:
- IP address (anonymised)
- Location: country, region, city, approximate latitude and longitude (Geolocation)
- Date and time of the request (visit to the site)
- Title of the page being viewed (Page Title)
- URL of the page being viewed (Page URL)
- URL of the page that was viewed prior to the current page (Referrer URL)
- Screen resolution of user's device
- Time in local visitor's time-zone
- Files that were clicked and downloaded (Download)
- Links to an outside domain that were clicked (Outlink)
- Pages generation time (the time it takes for webpages to be generated by the webserver and then downloaded by the visitor: Page speed)
- Main language of the browser being used (Accept-Language header)
- Browser version, browser plugins (PDF, Flash, Java, …) operating system version, device identifier (User-Agent header)
- Language of the visited page
- Site Search
To improve the accuracy of the produced reports, information is also stored in first-party cookies and then collected by Europa Analytics:
- Random unique Visitor ID
- Time of the first visit for the specific visitor
- Time of the previous visit for the specific visitor
- Number of visits for the specific visitor
The data collected contain no personal information and cannot be used to identify a particular visitor. They will not be shared with any other organisations for marketing, market research or commercial purposes. Persistent cookies contain no personal information; a random ID is generated by Piwik which enables Europa Analytics to identify when a user returns to the site. All persistent cookies have an expiration date (i.e. 13 months), following which they are automatically removed from the user's device.
The European Commission retains full responsibility and control of the data collected through first-party cookies and tags by storing the data in servers fully owned and controlled by the European Commission.
By default, website visitors are tracked using the first-party persistent cookie from Europa. You may choose not to be tracked by Piwik (opt-out). If you change your mind, you can choose to be tracked again by Piwik (opt-in).
To check your current status and make your choice, tick the corresponding box in the text appearing below.
Choosing not to be tracked by Piwik does not affect your navigation experience on Europa sites.
"Do Not Track" preference
"Do Not Track" is a technology that enables visitors to opt out from being tracked by websites for whatever purpose including the use of analytics services, advertising networks, and social platforms. To enable the "Do not track me" option in your browser:
Europa Analytics respects visitors' preference and will not track visitors which have enabled the “I do not want to be tracked” option in their web browsers2.
Restricted access to information
The analytical reports generated by Europa Analytics can only be accessed through the European Commission Authentication System (ECAS) by the European Institutions staff or by duly authorised external sub-contractors, who may be required to analyse, develop and/or regularly maintain certain sites.
All analytics data communication is encrypted via SSL protocol.
Anonymisation of visitors' IP addresses
Note: Institution, city and country origin are determined from the full IP, then stored and aggregated before the mask is applied.Europa Analytics uses an IP anonymisation mechanism that automatically masks a portion of each visitor's IP (Internet Protocol), effectively making it impossible to identify a particular Europa visitor.
Old visitors logs are deleted
Europa Analytics automatically deletes visitors' logs after 13 months. Anonymised and aggregated data are stored for an indefinite period by the European Commission for analysis purposes.
Any specific question concerning the storage and use of Europa Analytics data can be sent via the contact form on Europa.eu.
1 Piwik is in compliance with EU data protection laws as stated, amongst others, in the following documents:
- The Opinion of the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection in Germany says Piwik can be used in compliance with data protection laws
- The Opinion of the Independent Centre for Data Privacy Protection in France (CNIL) recommends Piwik for compliance with data protection laws
- The Opinion of the French CNIL recommends Piwik: the only analytics tool that does not require Cookie Consent
2 One of the following cases is possible:
- if the visitor uses a browser that has the function "do not track me" enabled by default at installation (e.g. Internet Explorer 11) the "do not track me" is not honoured.
- if the "do not track me" function is enabled the visitor will not be tracked. This is a layer on top of the opt-out mechanism and cookies.
- if the visitor does not have the "do not track me" option enabled and clicks on the opt-out, the cookie ‘piwik_ignore’ is stored in the browser. All visitors with a piwik_ignore cookie are not tracked.
- if the visitor has disabled all cookies from their browser, the visitor is still tracked but the data concerning the visitor is less accurate (Piwik cookies are not used).