The University of Alabama takes Data Collection for tracking and analytics purposes very seriously. This section aims to clarify a few related areas.

Third-Party Tracking and Analytics Technologies

These include but are not limited to Email Marketing tracking pixels (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, etc. ), Analytics Services (Google Analytics, Slate, etc.), and Social Media embeds/share buttons (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)


For websites,  these are generally added into a codebase through a snippet of javascript code that is added into the header or footer region of a site, but could generally be included anywhere in the codebase. Upon page load, the javascript snippet loads code from the third-party, injecting their code into the page’s source code.

Security, Stability, Compatibility, and Accessibility Concerns

This injected code is considered unmanaged code, since there is no method of tracking the compatibility, security, or accessibility implications that come along with the inclusion of this code. Additionally, some of the code that is injected may be a violation of state, federal, or international laws and/or guidelines, or existing UA policies or guidelines.

As a result, before implementing code for tracking or analytics purposes you must seek approval from Strategic Communications Web by contacting

List of Known Tracking and Analytics Methodologies

It can sometimes be difficult to ascertain whether a certain technology is implementing tracking in some way. A good example is social media share buttons. Generally, when embedded they allow a site visitor to share a piece of content on that page on their social platform of choice by interacting with a button. What is often overlooked is that when the button is injected into the page, the third-party social media service also embeds various tracking scripts, cookies, images, or other methods into the page. This may be done without the visitor or the developer being aware. As such we’ve included a working list of known implementations of things that tend to track people in a way that would need approval before implementation, in accordance with these guidelines.

  • Analytics Services (Google Analytics / Tag Manager, etc.) – In addition to allowing the site owner(s)/developer to collect analytics information about site and page usage, the Analytics company (for example Google) may also be tracking these metrics.
  • Social share buttons – (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) These are known to bundle tracking methods alongside their embeddable share buttons.
  • Email Newsletter services (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, etc.) These sometimes optionally bundle tracking images or other methods into the emails that are sent to track open rates, or other metrics.
  • Media embeds (YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, etc.) These sometimes bundle tracking methods into the scripts and elements utilized for rendering the embedded content. For now, YouTube, Vimeo, and related video embeds are considered to be approved for use.