Google Gets Around Analytics Issues in Germany

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Early this year, reports surfaced that the German government would possibly fine businesses for using Google Analytics, saying that the tool violates people's privacy, but Google said at the time:

"Google Analytics complies with European data protection laws and is used by other European data protection authorities on their own websites."

Reports indicated that German officials had ended talks with Google to resolve the issue, but Google said it would continue "actively working to address their concerns."

Apparently there was some progress made, as Google has put up a post on its German AdWords blog. "While the use of Google Analytics in our opinion is not against the German and European data protection law, had German data protection authorities in the past to have a dissenting view," says Google Data Protection Commissioner, Germany, Per Meyerdierks (as translated by Google). "We have worked closely with these authorities - represented by the Hamburg Institute for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officer - concerns regarding the collaborated and implemented a number of improvements to Google Analytics."

Meyerdierks says the following government requirements must be met for those who wish to use Google Analytics in Germany (also as translated by Google):

  • Please mention in your privacy policy that Google Analytics is used on your website.
  • Implement the IP mask function instructs the Google Analytics to not save the full IP address of your users or to process.
  • Instruct in your privacy policy on the possibility of disabling the Google Analytics function using a browser add-on to. End users can, if desired, to prevent very easy by installing this browser add-on that analysis information can be sent to Google. This possibility exists for over a year for Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer is now available for Safari and Opera and has proven successful and efficient solution for users.
  • We have updated Terms introduced to include with the data protection authorities coordinated arrangements for data processing.

An official statement from German officials can be found here (in German).

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.