"sp_em" is a special URL parameter that is recognized by the Salespanel website SDK. You can pass the email address of the web page visitor as the value of the "sp_em" parameter to track their activities on your website. Salespanel website SDK takes this email address and scans against your available leads. If it finds a match then it will connect the visitor session with that Salespanel lead.
Third-party website analytics solutions like Google Analytics and tracking tools like VWO, Intercom, FullStory, Mixpanel, Optimizely, etc. store website URLs for tracking visitors. When a URL parameter also contains any PII such as an email address, the PII also gets stored with the URL on the servers of the software. Without having a data processing addendum in between you and the vendor that addresses PII it's a compliance challenge for these vendors to process this personal information.
Google Analytics treats email addresses as Personally Identifiable Information (PII). As Google Analytics stores the paths of web pages as part of analytics data, email addresses passed through the "sp_em" parameter also get stored. This is a violation of Google’s PII policy.
There are a few solutions available that try to remove the email query parameter from the URL. The one most commonly implemented solution is using the Google Analytics' View settings, but we will explain its drawbacks shortly.
Using Google Analytics’ view settings
Google Analytics allows you to remove query parameters from page URLs through View Settings. You can find this setting at Admin > View Settings > Exclude Query Parameters. By simply adding the "sp_em" query parameter, you can exclude it from your page paths.
The limitation of using this method is that with Google Analytics, the analytics data is collected at the Property level, i.e. a level above View. That means even if the "sp_em" query parameter is filtered in View settings, it won’t stop GA from collecting PII and you will still be in violation of Google policy.
Fortunately, Salespanel website tracking provides you with an out of the box email redaction functionality which works seamlessly.
Salespanel to the rescue!
Salespanel removes the sp_em query parameter from the page URL out of the box. The only condition for this to work is that the Salespanel tracking code needs to be put before Google Analytics code, Google Tag Manager code, and all other tracking codes you use.
You don't need to configure anything else. It works out of the box after the tracking code is installed and functional. If you want to learn more about this, please feel free to get in touch with us.