RELEVANT PRODUCTS:
  • Optimizely X Web Experimentation
  • Optimizely X Web Personalization
  • Optimizely X Web Recommendations
  • Optimizely Classic

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

Optimizely X and Optimizely Classic

Disable the force variation parameter

Optimizely Classic

Exclude draft and paused experiments

Optimizely Classic, excluded by default in Optimizely X

Anonymize IP addresses for the project

Optimizely Classic

Filter IP addresses out of the Results page

Optimizely Classic

Here's where to find the Privacy tab in Optimizely X.

Here's where to find the Privacy tab in Optimizely Classic.

Masking Descriptive Names

In order 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 all of the descriptive names with numerical IDs that can be tied back to the Optimizely system to determine their full-text equivalents.

To hide descriptive names in the data object and remove them from your JavaScript file, all you have to do is click the checkbox that says Mask descriptive names in project code and third-party integrations under the Masking Descriptive Names section. Once the change is made, your third-party services will receive the numerical IDs instead of the descriptive names, but otherwise all integrations should continue working the same as before.

 
Important:

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.

Force variations in Optimizely Classic

In Optimizely X, use the Share Link feature to show draft variations and experiences that haven't been published to team members.

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

Force variation parameters help you manually force yourself into a specific variation in a specific experiment on any page containing your Optimizely JavaScript file. This can be handy for quick debugging. For example, if you'd like to see how the same block fo code impacts various product pages, the parameter allows you to force variation code to execute on the page without entering Preview mode in the Editor. 

When you need to turn on force variation parameters: 

  1. Navigate to the Privacy subtab.
  2. Uncheck Disable the force variation parameter.
  3. Click Save.

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.

Draft and paused experiments in Optimizely Classic

In Optimizely X, draft and paused experiments are always excluded. The Exclude draft and paused experiments checkbox does not impact this behavior.

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.

 

IP anonymization in Optimizely Classic

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.

In Optimizely Classic, turn this option on:

  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.

Checking this box changes the last block from the IP address into a 0 (zero) for all tracking calls made to Optimizely. The full IP address will not be stored anywhere and cannot be retrieved later.

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).

Privacy Settings only impact the experiments in the project. You can automatically anonymize IP Addresses for ALL experiments under all new created projects through your Account Settings. To change settings for an existing project, navigate to that individual project. 

If you are an administrator, you can anonymize IP addresses automatically for all new projects. You can also lock this setting permanently to ensure you are always in compliance.

 
Important:

If you select Lock this setting permanently, you cannot undo this action yourself once saved. You will need to contact Optimizely's support team to reverse this setting, once saved.

 Here's where to look in Optimizely Classic:

  1. Log in to Optimizely and click your account name.

  2. Then, navigate to the Account tab and check Anonymize by default or Lock this setting permanently, based on your organization's needs.

IP filtering in Optimizely Classic

In Optimizely Classic, 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.