Privacy features and accuracy of data collected

Hi everybody,

I’m another one of the many who are fleeing Google Analyitics due to rigid
data protection laws in Germany, and have a brief question that I haven’t
yet seen answered (although I’ve only been skimming the site for an hour
or less and may have missed it).

If the privacy protection is activated on a PIWIK installation for a given
site, at what point does it have influence on data being collected? What I’m
after specifically is:
With an octet or two dropped off the IP address, does it become impossible
to identify the country from which a visitor has come, or is the full IP address
first processed in order to obtain that data, and then anonymised before
it hits the persistence layer?

We’re in international advocacy organisation, and not being able to track which
countries are visiting which pages makes it almost pointless for us to even track
anything at all. Is it even possible to comply with the rigid local legislation and still
have a useful record of what is happening on the site?

Many thanks in advance,


Host your website somewhere else, as well as the Piwik server. This way the tracking code and data will never be in Germany. You can however access any website outside of Germany and its content (your statistics) will not be your responsibility.

I find that legislation on Internet makes sense only to policy makers.

If you wish to let your infrastucture in Germany, we will need details about this legislation and exactly what it forbids.

Hi Smith,

how exactly does this answer my question?

Moving our (several dozen) servers out of country is very much topic of internal discussion, that’s true. But it has nothing to do with the question I asked and in fact precludes the question itself. If we move our infrastructure, there will be no need to stop using the tool we already use, nor a need to be confronted with truncated IP addresses.

And not to be snotty, but, if “we” want details on this legislation, “we” can do a search on “Google and German data protection laws”.

If you actually do have an answer to my question, I’m still quite keen to hear it and thank you already for it.


The Geo Location is done AFTER the IP anonimization. if you only remove 1 byte from IP, it won’t actually change the Geo Location accuracy. if you anonymize 2 bytes it will affect accuracy a bit more, but still should work. Let us know…

Thank you, Matt, that’s exactly what I was looking for, much appreciated.

Really looking forward to kicking the tires on this bit of kit. Nice work out there.


smith: By German law you can still be held accountable if your server is located outside of Germany but you are permanently living in Germany. Only way to get around this is to move away from the country.