Google Analytics is under fire: how will this affect you?


Google Analytics is under fire

In recent months Google Analytics has come under fire. The reason for this is that it does not comply with the European AVG (or GDPR). For many, this was a shock as Google Analytics is used by many marketers and website owners to track the number of visitors to their website and their conversion goals. How did this happen and what are the consequences? Keep reading to find out.

How it all started

On December 22, 2021, the Austrian Data Protection Authority (the DSB) made it public that they had decided that Google Analytics was in violation of Article 44 of the AVG. This means that the DSB found that Google had exported personal data to the United States without ensuring an adequate level of protection, which is mandatory under the AVG.

This decision was taken in response to a complaint from Max Schrems’ privacy activist group None of Your Business (NOYB) regarding Google’s use of analytical cookies. This complaint was part of a total of 101 complaints filed by NYOB in 30 EU and EEA member states alleging that companies using Google Analytics were not complying with the Schrems II ruling. During that trial (also brought on by Schrems), the Court of Justice of the European Union declared the EU-US Privacy Shield invalid because there were doubts about the extent to which personal data was protected in the U.S. and globally.

The impact

These lawsuits have created a huge wave of concern about the future of all International transfers, not just the use of Google Analytics. The consequences will reach much deeper and will not only be felt in Europe, but also in the United States and in other parts of the world. Since the ruling of December 22 last year, Google Analytics is illegal in Austria. Should you still use Google Analytics there, you risk a high fine. Meanwhile, France has also declared Google Analytics illegal and Norway advises organizations to look for an alternative. The question is: Will Google adapt or should we look for an alternative?

What does this mean for you?

At this point, you should not do anything. Follow the current advice and check your national guidelines to ensure that the personal data of your website visitors is adequately protected.

At Leadgate we are of course keeping a close eye on the news surrounding this issue and we have already explored several suitable alternatives. In any case, should it come to this, we are prepared. We’ll update you as soon as more is known.

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