Google: Visits to Paris Likely to Increase

April 22, 2022

In the unlikely publication for me, Adweek published an interesting story: “French Sites Ordered to Stop Using Google Analytics Is Just the Beginning.” That title seems ominous. The election excitement is building, but the actions of Commission  Nationale de l’informatique et des Libertés is likely to grind forward regardless of who wins what. The Adweek write up states:

…the French data watchdog—Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL)—ordered three French websites to stop using audience analytics site Google Analytics, deeming the site to be illegal under the General Data Protection Regulation.

The article adds:

This means that companies based in Europe using Google Analytics—which reads cookies that are dropped on peoples’ browsers when they visit a site to gauge whether they are a new or returning user—were shipping people’s personal information to the U.S.

Are Google Analytics a problem for CNIL? Probably not for the agency, but the CNIL seems poised to become a bit of a sticky wicket for Googzilla. After years of casual hand slapping, an era of RBF (really big fines) may be beginning. Google executives might find that CNIL can make a call to a fancy Parisian hotel and suggest that the Googlers be given rooms with a less salubrious location, tired decorations, and questionable plumbing. Mais oui! C’est domage.

On a positive note, Google is taking action itself. Privacy, security, fraud — well, sort of. “Google Sues Scammer for Puppy Fraud” reports:

The complaint … accuses Nche Noel of Cameroon of using a network of fake websites, Google Voice phone numbers, and Gmail accounts to pretend to sell purebred basset hound puppies to people online.

And the conduit for these alleged untoward actions? Google. Now how did Google’s smart software overlook fake websites, issue Google Voice numbers, and permit Gmail accounts used for the alleged bad puppy things? Nope. AARP connected with Googzilla. Yeah, smart software? Nope.

Stephen E Arnold, April 22, 2022


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