Google Analytics Banned In EU?

Our Point Of View

Recently, the Austrian Data Protection Authority (DPA) has released its decision regarding the use of Google Analytics. The DPA found out that an Austrian company was using Google Analytics (GA) on their website, which involved transferring personal data to Google LLC in the United States.This was, according to their ruling, a violation with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as neither the Austrian company nor Google provided an adequate degree of protection.

In response to this ruling, Google posted a blog explaining that both businesses and individual users themselves have control over the data collection through GA, by enabling the IP-anonymisation feature. Google continues by stating that GA collects data locally first, where IP-addresses are anonymised before transferring this information to any server in the United States.

The decision might have drastic consequences in other European Union Countries. Other EU authorities are likely to agree with and follow the Austrian DPA ruling, potentially leading to a GA ban across the EU. Other analytical providers transferring data outside the European Union would fall in this grey area as well. Examples are Adobe, Hutspot, Salesforce, Segment etc.

On January the 13th of this year, the Dutch data protection authority (AP) also announced to be investigating similar complaints. The organisation warns that the use of Google Analytics may soon be prohibited. Their investigation will be completed early 2022. In 2018, the AP already published a manual on how to adjust GA settings in a privacy friendly way.

Up Analytics is based in the Netherlands. We follow the investigation of the AP closely. Based on years of experience and deep knowledge of the market, we do not expect a definite ban on Google Analytics. As so many businesses use GA, the economical consequences will be immeasurable. Especially for smaller companies who rely on GA for their marketing practices will have a hard time without this tool. When the Dutch authorities will make a legal decision, this will surely be taken into account.

There is no other way to tell for sure what will happen to Google Analytics, then to await the results of the ongoing investigation. In the meantime, make sure your GA settings are in line with the current guidelines in your country.

Feel free to contact us in case you have any questions or concerns regarding Google Analytics and the current situation. We are glad to help! Please take note that this article is in no way a substitute for legal advice, but just our point of view on the matter.