After Max Schrems, an Austrian data protection activist, complained that Google Analytics had violated data protection regulations, the DSB (Datenschutzbehörde) ruled in against of Google.
Specifically, DSB ruled that netdoktor.at’s use of Google Analytics was illegal after a “model complain” from “noyb”, Max Schrems NGO – based upon the so-called Schrems 2 decision of the ECJ. The reason: According to the Austrian Data Protection Act, (DSGVO), some of the data that ends-up on US servers during the collection of personal data is. Noyb.eu submitted 101 model complaints in Europe by 2020. Now, the Austrian authority has served the judgment.
All companies in the EU and all those that have used Google Analytics are affected by this judgment. That’s at least what “noyb,” is convinced of.
EU will follow suit
Google has taken “technical, and organizational” measures to provide this “appropriate level protection.” The DSB however considers these to be insufficient and of no use. Futurezone reports that it is unclear whether the described contractual and organizational measures are effective (…)”.
Similar decisions can be expected in other EU member countries, since data protection authorities have collaborated in an “EDPB taskforce” to address these cases. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), at the start of the week, confirmed that Google Analytics was not in compliance with data protection.
What does it mean if you use Google Analytics
This case teaches us one thing: ignoring the court rulings and continuing using Google Analytics is not an option. You should immediately remove Google Analytics from any website that you operate in Austria or services Austrian citizens.
Businesses in EU Member States should also take immediate action to prevent noyb or local data protection authorities from targeting additional businesses.
However, removing Google Analytics doesn’t mean you have to stop website analytics. There are many Google Analytics alternatives today. Matomo is a powerful open source web analytics platform. It allows you 100% data ownership as well as GDPR compliance. Get in touch with us if you want to learn more about you can use Matomo for your business.