Italy bans Google Analytics along with France, Austria.
After Austria, France, and Holland, Italy is the fourth nation in the European Union to outlaw Google Analytics. Austria ruled Google analytics unlawful in December 2021. France and the Netherlands (Holland) reached the same decision in January and February of 2022, respectively.
These nations contended that it is unlawful to collect user data on behaviour, demographics, and acquisition techniques and transmit it to the US for marketing reasons. Italy also imposed a similar restriction on Google analytics last week.
This judgment was reached, according to the Italian Data Protection Authority Garante, “after completing a thorough assessment in coordination with other European privacy authorities.”
Arguments against it:
Garante lists several instances when Google violates the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, the transfer of personal data to the United States is the primary justification for the embargo. It gravely transgresses the GDPR legislation, whose main objective is to safeguard the privacy of residents of the European Union.
As of July 2022, the following data is gathered and sent by Google Analytics:
- The time and date of the site visit
- Users’ browser client information
- Device IP address and screen resolution
- Users’ device operating system and preferred language selection among other items.
Without further protection from the European Union, this data is transported to the US. As a result, the transfer falls short of what is needed to comply with EU data protection laws.
Once more, per the legislation, Google is obligated to provide the US intelligence agencies with the information it has gathered from EU individuals upon request.
Is Encryption a possibility?
Technically, yes, but practically speaking, no. Given that Google will own the encryption keys, they will have unlimited access to the data.
Utilizing a proxy server to prevent direct communication between the user’s terminal and Google servers would be a more sensible course of action.
When Google Analytics 4 launches in 2023, it’s possible that Google and the EU privacy regulators may find a compromise.
Google will launch Google analytics 4 in place of Universal analytics the following year, as was previously announced. To improve privacy, Google has implemented the following changes in GA4:
- Google analytics 4 will no longer store IP addresses
- GA4 will process data from the EU in the servers located within the EU.
- It also allows the deactivation of Google Signals to prevent linking with Google accounts.