Project Settings: Privacy

  • Updated
  • Optimizely Web Experimentation
  • Optimizely Personalization
  • Optimizely Performance Edge

The Optimizely snippet has objects that let you QA, debug experiments, and transmit information to other systems. You may want to have a higher level of privacy to ensure the object and experiment views do not get exposed. Learn about privacy options that help you protect your experiment information and comply with privacy laws in certain countries.

You can adjust your project's privacy options in Settings > Implementation:

  • Mask descriptive names.

  • Disable the force variation parameter.

  • Allow anyone to view draft or paused experiments by appending the query parameter.

  • Anonymize IP addresses.

Privacy settings only show for projects that are not a custom snippet project.

Here is how to find your project's privacy settings:

  1. Go to Settings > Implementation.

  2. Scroll down to Snippet Settings > Privacy.


You should also learn about account privacy to help you protect your Optimizely Experimentation account.

Mask descriptive names

To share data with third-party analytics platforms, Optimizely Experimentation contains information about experiments, variations, audiences, sections, and segments exposed at the client level. Although you can use these descriptive names for debugging and other benefits for some third-party integrations, replacing the descriptive names with numerical IDs offers additional privacy.

Check the box to enable Mask descriptive names and click Save.


After you mask descriptive names, your third-party services receive numerical IDs instead of names. New projects enable Mask descriptive names by default so that variation names and descriptive names do not pass into your analytics platform.

Find descriptive names and IDs in Optimizely Experimentation or Optimizely Personalization.

Changing data object name settings while running an experiment with a standard or custom third-party integration creates two sets of results in your analytics platform. You should change settings when you do not have any experiments with an integration running.

Disable the force variation parameter

Force variation parameters lets you skip all targeting conditions (such as audience targeting) and go to a specific variation or personalized experience. This can help you with QA and debugging.

For example, to change the text or an image on your homepage, you can append a query parameter to quickly view the change without meeting the targeting conditions. 

Optimizely disables the force variation parameter by default to prevent visitors from forcing variations they are not supposed to see.


  • To use the parameter to QA published experiments, uncheck Disable the force variation parameter and click Save.

  • To use the parameter to QA draft or paused experiments and published experiments, uncheck Disable the force variation parameter, check Allow anyone to view draft or paused experiments, and click Save.

Return both features to the default by checking Disable the force variation parameter and clicking Save.

If you check Allow anyone to view draft or paused experiments, anyone can view your draft or paused changes by appending optimizely_token=PUBLIC (instead of the real token) to the Preview URL. Enable this setting with care and disable it after completing QA.

Alternatively, use the Share Link feature to show draft variations and experiences to team members without exposing these variations or experiences broadly.

Exclude draft and paused experiments

Optimizely excludes draft and paused experiments by default, so you do not need to check this option.

Anonymize IP addresses for this project

In some countries, you may need to remove the last block of an IP address to protect your visitors' identity. You can remove this last block before Optimizely stores event data. This setting is enabled by default in all projects. 

You can also do this automatically at the account level if you are an administrator.

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, and the full IP address is not stored and cannot be retrieved later.

IP anonymization for this project is enabled automatically.

To change if IP anonymization is set automatically, go to Account SettingsSecurity and Privacy > uncheck Anonymize by default.


If you use both IP anonymization and IP filtering, ensure that the regular expression for IP Filtering treats the final octet as 0 (zero).

Filter IP addresses out of results

You can filter individual IP addresses or IP ranges out of your experiment results. This lets you exclude your company's employees from counting toward experiment results. See IP filtering for more information.

Here is how to find your project's IP filtering settings:


  1. Go to Settings > Advanced.

  2. Scroll down to Results Filtering.

  3. Enter a regular expression (1,500 characters maximum) for the IP addresses to filter from your Results page.

  4. Click Save.

IP filtering does not prevent certain visitors from seeing the experiment—it only excludes them from the experiment results. To exclude IP ranges from being included in experiments, see IP address audience conditions.

If you use a regular expression to match multiple IPs, your IP filtering regex should match the full IP address. Partial matches do not work. If you have turned on IP anonymization as well, the IP filtering regex should match the last octet as 0 (zero).