Email Analytics and PII - personally identifiable information

Litmus Email Analytics actively promotes PII compliance and prevents the collection of personal information by default. With expanding regulatory requirements for proper data management, information gathered via Litmus Email Analytics tracking codes is designed to help safeguard data and protect valuable subscriber trust.

How it works

When you create a tracking code in Litmus, you can choose your Email Service Provider (ESP) that you use to send your emails. We will automatically insert a relevant PII compliant unique user identifier based on your ESP selection. If your ESP is not listed, you can manually enter a PII compliant merge tag your ESP supports.
If you don't need individual recipient level data from Email Analytics, you can skip selecting an ESP when you create a tracking code. 

Changes we made

Litmus revised the recipient data points stored on behalf of our customers. Instead of capturing recipient email addresses via our tracking codes, we offer the option to capture another identifier such as a recipient ID provided by your email service provider (ESP). There are no changes to the insights provided within Litmus. Any CSV or FTP exports contain the unique identifier for the subscriber in place of their email address.

Tracking code changes

Tracking codes created and implemented in an email before November 1, 2021:

  • Tracking codes that were implemented in emails before November 1, 2021, continue to collect data in the same way as they were created until their expiration date.
  • The actual tracking code source HTML stored in Litmus no longer contains the email address merge tag in the d parameter, replaced with the placeholder of [UNIQUE]. 
  • Any custom parameters appearing at the t parameter in the actual tracking code are captured and displayed in data export files.

Tracking codes created before November 1, 2021 but placed in an email after November 1, 2021:

  • The actual tracking code source HTML stored in Litmus no longer contains the email address merge tag in the d parameter, replaced with the placeholder of [UNIQUE]. Neither recipient email addresses nor unique subscriber IDs were captured by the tracking code and do not appear in the CSV data file.
  • Any custom parameters appearing at the t parameter in the actual tracking code will continue to be captured and displayed in data export files.

Tracking codes created after November 1, 2021:

  • These will be PII-free tracking codes. They will not contain any subscriber email addresses.
  • There will be a new parameter within the tracking code (the i parameter) that will support capturing contact IDs for each recipient that engages with the email. 
  • For some ESPs, Litmus will provide a relevant merge tag to facilitate capturing a PII-free ID/reference for recipients. If your ESP merge tag does not auto-populate, you will have the opportunity to add your own to facilitate capturing this recipient identifier.
  • Any custom parameters appearing at the t parameter in the actual tracking code will continue to be captured and displayed in data export files unless we detect email addresses, in which case that data will be scrubbed.

Changes to the tracking code creation process

If a custom merge tag for tracking codes has been set for the account in your Account setting, it will need to be capturing PII complaint information beginning November 1, 2021. Any bepoke email address based merge tags added to new tracking codes after this time will trigger the corresponding data to not be collected. 

Changes to Data Exports

Data export files for tracking codes created and implemented in email before November 1, 2021 are unchanged.

Data export files for tracking codes created before November 1, 2021 and used in an email after November 1, 2021 will be largely unchanged. The only difference is that no data will appear in the email address column of the exported CSV file.

Data export files for tracking codes created after November 1, 2021 do not have an email address column in the CSV file. There is a new column in the CSV file called custom ID. This column will display captured PII-free unique recipient identifiers if a supported ESP has been selected or an appropriate merge tag was added during the tracking code creation. Those identifiers that will allow you to attribute data back to an individual recipient.

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