I am strongly considering discontinuing the use of the Google Analytics service. If you’re interested, the reasons are below the cut.
I have my doubts about it from an ethical standpoint as well. In my own online activity, I actually use a variety of overlapping methods of blocking analytics tracking, and while it’s basically impossible to completely avoid Google services (among other things, I have an Android phone, which obviously depends on Google platforms and infrastructure), I have many qualms about relying on them if I can avoid it.
The tipping point is that Google recently announced that they’re phasing out the version of the Google Analytics service I’ve been using and will be forcing users who want to continue to collect data after July 1, 2023 to migrate to the latest Google Analytics 4 setup. There are some advantages to the latter, but my appetite for going through a complex series of technical issues and data export/import for a service whose drawbacks were already starting to outweigh its benefits is, let us say, not great.
If I stop using the Google Analytics service, I likely won’t switch to another analytics service. There are several, but they present most of the same problems, and many of them are costly as well. (The biggest Google Analytics advantage is that it’s generally free unless you get far more traffic than I ever have or am likely to.) I just don’t see much advantage to it anymore.