A clutch of European countries have banned the use of Google Analytics. Italy just joined Holland, France and Austria in legislating that Google Analytics falls foul of data privacy laws, specifically GDPR. Some are allowing limited use of the tool, but in reality the announcements make its practical use impossible.
Why Ban Google Analytics?
The issue lies in the fact that Google Analytics transfers users’ personal data to the United States. US surveillance laws require US providers (like Google or Facebook) to provide personal data to US authorities.This is a big no for European countries and definitely is not in keeping with the spirit of GDPR.
Will this Still Be An Issue with GA4?
Google is replacing its Universal Google Analytics platform with its next generation solution: GA4. The driver for this is to ensure better data privacy and protection. However, despite changes such as GA4 data being processed from end devices within the EU on servers in the EU, and processing of IP addresses for geo-location without their storage, EU countries are still making its use illegal.
What Should I Do Now?
If you are based in the EU, we suggest switching off Google Analytics immediately and replacing with a more privacy-centric solution. The model case in Austria that kicked this all off resulted in one Austrian business potentially receiving a fine of up to €20 million or 4% of the organisation’s global turnover, and significant damage to its brand and reputation.
If you are operating a website in an EU country, or your website services EU citizens, particularly in Italy, Austria, Holland and France, then contact us and we can help you deploy an alternative solution that gives you the data you need to monitor marketing effectiveness, but still be in keeping with GDPR and data protection in general.
If you are based outside of the EU, but are worried about the potential implications, then drop us a line and we can talk you through your options.