This article will help you:
  • Manage settings in the Privacy subtab of your Project Settings
  • Anonymize IPs, mask descriptive names, force parameters, draft/paused experiments, and other information for additional privacy
  • Filter IP addresses from Optimizely results
  • Understand tradeoffs between additional privacy and integrations/compatibility

The Optimizely snippet contains objects that make it easier for users to QA and debug experiments, as well as transmit information to other systems. Some users prefer a higher level of privacy for the functionality and information contained in these objects.

You can change various configuration options in the Privacy subtab:

  • Mask descriptive names

  • Disable the force variation parameter

  • Exclude draft and paused experiments

  • Anonymize IP addresses for the project

  • Filter IP addresses out of results

Here's where to find the Privacy tab.

Mask descriptive names

To share data with third-party analytics platforms, Optimizely contains some information about experiments, variations, audiences, sections, and segments that needs to be exposed at the client level. While these descriptive names are helpful for debugging and offer significant benefits for some third-party integrations, some customers may want to replace descriptive names with numerical IDs for additional privacy.

Check to enable the Mask descriptive names setting.

Your new projects will have Mask descriptive names enabled by default, so you will not see variation names pass into your analytics platform. This also means that Optimizely will not be able to pass the descriptive names of individual variations into your analytics platform.

If you change data object name settings while an experiment that has a standard or custom third-party integration is running, you will create two sets of results for that test in your analytics platform. The best time to make the change is when there are no experiments with any sort of integration running.

Disable the force variation parameter

In Optimizely, force variation parameters are turned off by default.

Force variation parameters help you manually force yourself into a specific variation for a specific experiment on any page containing your Optimizely JavaScript file. This can be handy for QA and debugging. For example, if you'd like to see how a single change looks across all your product pages, you can use the parameter to force variation code to execute on the page. 

To use the parameter to QA live, paused, or draft experiments, uncheck the Disable the force variation parameter setting.

If you're performing QA for a draft or paused experiment, keep in mind that you'll need to include Draft and paused experiments in the snippet.

Return both of these features to the default mode when you've completed QA.

Exclude draft and paused experiments

In Optimizely Classic, draft experiments and paused experiments are included from the Optimizely JavaScript file by default. This allows you to QA experiments that aren't currently running using the force variation parameter.

However, sometimes it's useful to exclude draft and paused experiments. This reduces snippet load time or ensures that visitors aren't able to use force parameters to view experiments they're not intended to see.

To remove draft and paused experiments from the snippet:

  1. Navigate to the Privacy subtab.

  2. Check Exclude draft and paused experiments.

  3. Click Save.


Anonymize IP addresses for this project

In some countries, you may be required to remove the last block of an IP address to protect the identity of your visitors. Optimizely allows you to easily remove the last block of your visitors’ IP address before we store event data.

Read on to see how to this at the project level. If you're an administrator, you can also do this automatically at the account level.

If you enable IP anonymization for this project

  • The last octet of the IP address changes into a 0 (zero) for all tracking calls made to Optimizely

  • The full IP address won't be stored anywhere and cannot be retrieved later

Enable this setting:

  1. Navigate to the Privacy subtab.

  2. Check Anonymize IP addresses for this project and remove the last octet of IP addresses prior to logging. If you're using both IP Anonymization and IP Filtering, make sure that the regular expression that you use for IP Filtering treats the final octet as 0 (zero).

Filter IP addresses out of results

You can filter individual IPs or IP ranges out of your experiment results. For example, if you want to exclude your company's employees from being counted toward experiment results. To learn more, see our article on IP Filtering.

IP Filtering won't prevent certain visitors from seeing the experiment -- it will only exclude them from the experiment results. To exclude IP ranges from being included in experiments, see our article on IP Address Audience conditions.


If you use a regular expression to match multiple IPs, your IP Filtering regex should match the full IP address to work properly. Partial matches will not work. If you've turned on IP Anonymization as well, the IP Filtering regex should match the last octet as 0 (zero).