The EU Has the Google in Targeting Range for 2023

January 10, 2023

Unlike the United States, the European Union does not allow Google to collect user data. The EU has passed several laws to protect its citizens’ privacy, however, Google can still deploy tools like Google Analytics with stipulations. Tutanota explains how Google operates inside the EU laws in, “Is Google Analytics Illegal In The EU? Yes And No, But Mostly Yes.”

Max Schrems is a lawyer who successfully sued Facebook for violating the privacy of Europeans. He won again, this time against Google. France and Austria decided that Google Analytics is illegal to use in Europe, but Denmark’s and Norway’s data protection authorities developed legally compliant ways to use the analytics service.

Organizations were using Google Analytics to collect user information, but that violated Europeans’ privacy rights because it exposed them to American surveillance. The tech industry did not listen to the ruling, so Schrems sued:

“However, the Silicon Valley tech industry largely ignored the ruling. This has now led to the ruling that Google Analytics is banned in Europe. NOYB says:

‘While this (=invalidation of Privacy Shield) sent shock waves through the tech industry, US providers and EU data exporters have largely ignored the case. Just like Microsoft, Facebook or Amazon, Google has relied on so-called ‘standard Contract Clauses’ to continue data transfers and calm its European business partners.’

Now, the Austrian Data Protection Authority strikes the same chord as the European court when declaring Privacy Shield as invalid: It has decided that the use of Google Analytics is illegal as it violates the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Google is “subject to surveillance by US intelligence services and can be ordered to disclose data of European citizens to them’. Therefore, the data of European citizens may not be transferred across the Atlantic.”

There are alternatives to Google services, including Gmail and Google Analytics based in Europe, Canada, and the United States. This appears to be one more example of the EU lining up financial missiles to strike the Google.

Whitney Grace, January 10, 2023


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