You Need Server-Side Tag Manager to Take Privacy Seriously

GTM Server Side

You Need Server-Side Tag Manager to Take Privacy Seriously

With the development of the server-side tag manager by Google, there were different kinds of responses. Some were thrilled by it while others thought, why is this necessary? Why do we need to use this, and is this good for our businesses?

In a world of technological advancement and e-commerce, every business (site) wants to know how users interact with them as they are potential customers. They want to collect as much data as possible to understand the behavior of people interacting with their site.

Those of you who are from non-technical backgrounds might have been questioning the idea because it’s tough to grasp. We can assure you this Google tag manager server-side is very useful when it comes to data collection and puts us in control of that data, which protects the user’s privacy.

There are two ways of data collection methods that all the websites use. The first is client-side tagging, while the other is server-side Google Tag Manager, for which we are thankful to Google.

Default GTM and Google Analytics Settings

When a user performs an activity on a browser such as requesting information or visiting a website by entering the site’s URL, this gives the command to Google tag manager, which in turn invokes Google analytics and then analytic processes your data shows you the result.

So, each time you request something on your browser, your information is exposed to external parties, including IP address, user’s ID, etc.
While the process is easy and simple, it has some flaws of its own. To view a simple page or website, your information other than what the tags should collect, collects other information.

Tags are snippets of code in the form of JavaScript that embeds in the form of HTML in the source code of the website. They collect information like how many times we have visited the website, how long we stay on it, scrolling speed, etc.

In server-side tracking, when we open a website by entering the web address on the browser, what happens in the background is that the browser connects to a server on the internet. And we receive information back in the form of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which make up the website. Tags, which have tracking codes in the URL, collect the information like time and date and send it back to the mother server like Google Analytics and Facebook Ads, etc.

Ever wonder how you get the most ads related to your taste? That’s how it proceeded.
However, with this much data and no control over it, some exploit it to make some money.

Tracking codes collect information other than what they are instructed, like a digital fingerprint, the page you are on, information about the device, screen size, etc., which isn’t necessary. Most source codes are user-friendly, while others are pretty aggressive, such as they collect first-party cookie info and other shady information for cross-site tracking.

Nonetheless, a mother server like Google Analytics tells us that they will not use personal data in the request if you say so. How about we don’t let them get that information in the first place? That’s where the server-side Google tag manager plays its role.

Server-Side GTM ( Google Tag Manager) and Google Analytics Implementation

The most important factor of a Server-side tag manager is having your own personal collection point for the data. We build our tracking server, which collects the client’s data or the internet server. This data is then handed on to third parties like Google Analytics, Facebook ads, etc.

The phenomenon of working is that you send data to your own server. Once it arrives there, you can do whatever you want with it. You can change it around, manipulate it without interfering with the source code, or you could just ignore it.

You can ensure the data stripping of any personal information before sending it. The thing is you must acquire more control over the data before you send it to the tracking vendors.

Small-sized businesses can benefit a lot from server-side GTM as it enables them to add or change data without the need for any professional developer. In the case of a conglomerate, it can easily manage a larger sample of data, which improves your site speed.

Instead of universal analytics, the information is processed from your server-side endpoint when you request information from the browser. It would be great if you change the configuration from the GA4 (Google Analytic 4 configuration) so that you send all analytics hits to your own server-side. In short, have your collection endpoint for the data.

Alter the Information You Share with Google Analytics

It is an essential part of using a server-side tag manager. You have got the information from the users in your collection point but still, need to send it to Google Analytics for processing and visible within your reports.
Before sending, you can use tags to hide or change all the information you want, like concealing the user’s IP address or hiding the ID. From a privacy point of view, it’s imperative. Note that this all happens before the data reaches the analytics server.

Ownership of Your Collection Endpoint

While making your server-side Google tag manager account, you got options:

  • Automatic arrangement of your tagging server and display on Google cloud server
  • Manual arrangement of your tagging server somewhere else.

Choosing automatic provision is still a better option than client-side tag manager because you own the data collection legally, and google cannot use it for other purposes.

Final Verdict

To conclude all of the above, server-side Google tag managers are better because they give you control of the user’s data. It’s a great initiative to counteract data theft.
Owning the collection endpoint gives you the right to change the information before passing it on and is an excellent opportunity to take users’ privacy seriously. It also limits the information to the third party, which usually exploits the situation.
Indeed, this article has established the point of server-side tag manager and respect for users’ privacy.

 

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