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Anonymous users

Read time: 1 minute
Last edited: Feb 6, 2020

Overview

This topic explains what anonymous users, and how their information is handled in LaunchDarkly, and how they contribute to your Monthly Active Users (MAU) count.

Anonymous users are identical to regular users, but they are not stored in your dashboard. One of the primary reasons that users are sent anonymously is to avoid unauthenticated users diluting the useful data in the user dashboard.

Ensuring user privacy

You can use anonymous users to hide personally identifiable information (PII), but we recommend using private user attributes instead. To learn more, read Private user attributes.

Understanding how anonymous users contribute to MAU

Anonymous users contribute to MAU. LaunchDarkly can track anonymous users in two different ways:

  • By unique key, or
  • Without unique keys

If you specify a unique key for each anonymous user, LaunchDarkly tracks those users by session. If you do not specify a unique key for each anonymous user, LaunchDarkly may create a new user for each request and device type. This can inflate your MAU count.

To learn more about MAU, read Account usage metrics.

Best practices for using unique keys

Sometimes it is useful to generate a unique key for anonymous users. We recommend using unique keys for the following reasons:

  • You are targeting users individually by key
  • You are using LaunchDarkly's A/B testing feature
  • You are using the Analytics Data Stream
  • You are conducting percentage rollouts

If you do not need to uniquely identify your anonymous users, you can use a shared key for them.