Google has recently been under the radar of the European Union (EU) for accusations of misusing “its monopoly power” in mobile apps and search engines. According to a report by AndroidPolice, multiple EU countries have criticised the use of Google Analytics citing violations against the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Simple Analytics, a competitor of Google Analytics has updated its blog post to note that three EU member countries have decided to prohibit the service which will allow webmasters to track and analyse their site traffic.
Which EU countries have banned Google Analytics
The report mentions that France’s national commission on the freedom of liberation (CNIL) announced a ban on Google Analytics in February 2022, whereas Austria’s Data Protection Authority started blocking the service in January. Now, Italy has joined the bandwagon to ban Google Analytics in the country. All three countries have cited a common reason for banning the tech giant’s service.
Why EU countries are banning Google Analytics
As per the report, the Italian government has explained its decision to ban Google Analytics to restrict unregulated data transmissions from the country. This was also the reason cited by the other two countries to take such a decision. The governments are concerned about the unregulated flow of huge amounts of user data (like IP addresses, etc.) which are being collected through cookies and are being transferred to the US that can potentially be seen by the US government or other third parties.
This violates the EU’s GDPR as the company doesn’t promise due process to users when things go wrong and need to be fixed. To explain the situation, the Italian government has mentioned a local web services provider named Caffeina Media and has allotted 90 days for the company to transfer its account away from Google Analytics.
In 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union made a decision named “Schrems II” that is currently offering several justifications for banning Google Analytics. This decision overruled the past principles within the framework called Privacy Shield which was designed to ensure encrypted data transfers to the US.
How Google is trying to fight the ban
The report suggests that the authorities of the respective countries are dismissing Google’s appeals and defences in response to these rulings. Google is even unable to prove its capability to anonymise user data from Europe before transmitting it to the US Encryption, mentioned the report. Moreover, the report also explains that this process wouldn’t be a problem if Google wouldn’t share any data with the US government or third parties.
What is Google Analytics 4
Google has decided to shut down the Universal Analytics platform that currently supports most Google Analytics clients by 2023. This platform also relies heavily upon trackers to retrieve detailed information about users who have visited the site. The company has introduced the Google Analytics 4, which doesn’t depend much on using trackers and is also available now. However, the latest version also doesn’t have many chances of getting accepted by the EU as it seems to collect the same data using different methods, the report suggests. Moreover, Google has also struggled to develop new, privacy-minded web trackers over the last several years, the report mentions.