To understand how Digital Analytics provides analytics and reports about your website, take a look at how Digital Analytics handles the following activities.
Collecting user data from client sites
The data parameters in the tag function calls communicate information about pages, products, and visitor activities, such as carting or selecting specific products, completing purchases, registering or logging on, interacting with specific page elements, etc.
The image request received by Digital Analytics data acquisition servers is parsed to extract the visitor data from the name=value query string parameter pairs, loaded into the analytics data warehouse, and a 1X1 pixel GIF file is returned to the requesting browser. The data collection image request is made in memory, rather than written directly onto the page, preventing response "images" from visibly rendering on the page. The image request is asynchronous with the page load and cannot interrupt page load or visitor experience. In the unlikely event that the request cannot reach the Digital Analytics data collection servers or the request response pixel is not received by the requesting browser, the page continues to render: site functionality and visitor experience are unaffected.
Tracking session and visitor activities with Digital Analytics
Each time a visitor arrives on a web page, Digital Analytics sets a session cookie and a visitor cookie, if a cookie is not already set. A session is opened when the session ID cookie is set. Digital Analytics tracks all tags against the session until there is 30 minutes of inactivity. After 30 minutes of inactivity, Digital Analytics closes the session, and the cookie expires. If the visitor keeps the window open and re-engages with the site after 30 minutes of inactivity, a new session cookie is set, and a new session is tracked.
A session is unique to the browser and to the visitor. A visitor cannot have the same session across 2 browsers (i.e. Firefox and Safari), since a separate cookie is set on each browser.
The Visitor cookie persists after the visitor closes all browser windows. It contains a cookie ID referenced by Digital Analytics to identify a visitor returning to the site across multiple sessions.
Note: Several other session-based cookies might be set, depending on your specific implementation and Digital Analytics version.
Image requests for secure pages
Image requests for secure pages are made through HTTPS protocols.
Digital Analytics makes image requests in either HTTP or HTTPS protocols. These requests use HTTPS protocols for secure pages.
A subset of tag types default to HTTPS to ensure secure transmission of data: the Registration tag and the Order tag. For cases where the browser does not provide a location.protocol value and secure transmission of all tag requests is required, use the cm_SecureLoad setting. Setting cm_SecureLoad=true causes all Digital Analytics tag requests to use HTTPS protocol.
The cm_SecureLoad variable should be set prior to your cmSetClientID call. This variable can be set by calling cmSetupOther(...):
Personally-identifiable information is information that is used (either on its own or with other information) to identify, contact, or locate an individual, such as a person's name, credit card information, address, phone number, or identification numbers.
Customers can mark personal data by using tag attributes that flag data when it is collected and fed into reports that are run by Digital Analytics. Reports, segments, and filters then indicate whether they contain personal data or not. Anytime a user accesses a report, segment, or filter with personal data, the access is logged with a timestamp, user name, the report/segment/filter name, clientId, and the specific personal data that was accessed.
Only users with permission can view personal information in reports. Users without permission cannot open the report at all. If a GDPR request to mask personal information occurs, personal information is masked from all users, regardless of permission. For example, users with permission can open the report but see only "xxxxxxxxx" in the place of personal information. Administrators can set permission for a user by opening a support ticket.
When personal data is added or removed from a tag attribute, segment, or filter, all referencing reports, segments, and filters are updated. For example, if personal data is added to a segment that didn't already have personal data, all referencing reports, parent segments, etc. are updated to include the personal data and to restrict access. Similarly, if personal data is removed from a segment, all referencing parent segments are updated. However, all referencing reports continue to behave as if they contain personal data.