Collecting OWOX User ID

OWOX User ID is an additional user identifier available in the Google Analytics→Google BigQuery pipeline. With it, you can now track audience overlapping across domains without sending the Client ID parameter.

Google Analytics's cross-domain tracking lets you track audience overlapping only if the users move between websites using direct cross-links. The Google Analytics tracking code sends Client IDs in the URL parameters of the link.

Now, with OWOX User ID, you can track audience overlapping across any websites that have the OWOX BI pipelines set up, even if these websites aren't linked directly with cross-links.

Here are some examples of how you can use OWOX User ID:

  • Analyze how audiences overlap across domains in different Google Analytics→Google BigQuery pipelines
  • Have access to relevant anonymous user IDs in cases when Google Analytics cookies are replaced or deleted
  • Track customer journeys on all your websites using a single identifier


How it works

When collecting user behavior data from your website in the Google Analytics→Google BigQuery pipeline and session data based on OWOX BI algorithm, our service creates a custom cookie file ouid that contains a unique anonymous ID (the combination of the clientId and IP hashes) for each identified user.

In data tables, the ID values are stored in the userOwoxId field:


Note: Collecting OWOX BI User ID is impossible when you collect session data based on Google Analytics data.

What else you should know about OWOX User ID:

  • These IDs are created by OWOX BI upon receiving the first hit event from a user and written to a third-party cookie;
  • The created cookie with an ID is used across domains and subdomains and is never replaced;
  • The expiration time for the cookies is 364 days. After that, the OWOX User ID file will be automatically deleted.



OWOX User ID does not compromise your data in any way. Please note that:

  • OWOX BI does not process, analyze, or otherwise use the data you collect;
  • Audience overlapping can be viewed by OWOX User ID only within your own pipelines;
  • It’s impossible to explore how audiences on your website overlap the audiences on the websites of other OWOX BI users.


Google Consent Mode compliance

If you implemented consent mode in Google Tag Manager with two settings for tags ad_storage and analytics_storage, therefore OWOX BI algorithm properly processes user behavioral data in compliance with GDPR requirements. Let's look at two cases:

  • The user has not given consent: analytics_storage = denied’
    This means that in the incoming hit, the gcs parameter is not equal to 'G111' or 'G101'. In this case, OWOX BI does not set the ouid cookie on the user's browser.
  • The user has given their consent: analytics_storage = 'granted'
    In this case, the OWOX BI algorithm creates an ouid cookie and sets the lifetime to 364 days if it has not been created before. If this cookie has already been previously stored in the user's browser, then OWOX BI extends its lifetime and keeps the current value.
  • The parameter gcs missing or has an invalid value
    The OWOX BI algorithm will process the ouid cookie according to the logic described for the analytics_storage = 'granted' case.

Note: The Google Help Center provides instructions on how to set up consent mode in Google Tag Manager.


How to manage OWOX User ID collection

The OWOX User ID collection is active by default.

If you want to turn it off:

1. Open the Settings tab on your Google Analytics→Google BigQuery pipeline page in OWOX BI Pipeline. On this tab, click the menu button in the upper right corner.

2. Uncheck Collect OWOX User ID.




OWOX User ID won't be collected for the site visitors who have cross-domain tracking restricted in their browser. In the Safari browser version 11 and above, the "Prevent cross-site tracking" feature is active by default.

Without OWOX User ID for these users, you won't be able to get 100% accurate data on audience overlapping across your sites.

If your statistics show that the same Client ID within a single domain has different OWOX User Identifiers, then read this article to find out the reasons for that.

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