Google Analytics is illegal in the EU



The source – tutanota.com

The Austrian GDPR Supervisory Authority has declared it illegal to install Google Analytics and transfer data from European users to the US.

It has decided that the use of Google Analytics violates the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Google is "subject to surveillance by US intelligence agencies and may be ordered to disclose data of European citizens to them." Therefore, the data of European citizens cannot be transmitted across the Atlantic.

The problem is that thanks to the US Cloud CLOUD law, US authorities can demand personal data from Google, Facebook and other US providers, even if they operate outside the US, for example, in Europe.

Thus, Google is unable to provide an adequate level of protection in accordance with Article 44 of the GDPR, a clear violation of European data protection guarantees. The standard contractual clauses referred to by the website operator do not help, as recognized in 2020 by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in its “Privacy Shield” (Schrems II) decision.

The decisive factor for the legal assessment of the use of Google Analytics is not whether the US intelligence agency actually received the data, whether Google actually identified the user. The very fact that this was already theoretically possible was a violation of the GDPR.

However, Google users can set in their Google accounts to prevent Google from assessing the use of third-party websites in detail. But that the feature exists is proof that Google can combine usage data with a face.

Now many companies in Europe have to ask themselves whether it is worth removing Google Analytics from their websites or risking a fine for violating the GDPR.
In the long term, there will be two options: either the US will change its oversight laws to boost its tech business, or US providers will have to host European user data in Europe.

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