Recently, the Danish Business Authority has declared that working with Google Analytics to collect data on EU residents is unlawful under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Not the first EU country to take such a stance, Denmark joins Austria, France, and Italy in their decision to conclude that “the tool cannot be used legally.” … At least in its standard setup.
While the platform has not been outlawed entirely, companies will have to take supplementary steps to ensure the privacy standards are met. These steps include ensuring GA only fires scripts upon user consent, all analytics are to be stored on EU-based servers and removing all personal identifiers before sending data outside the EU.
Ultimately, companies will lose valuable data. They will also be responsible for covering the cost of implementing and maintaining the previously mentioned privacy protection standards. The alternative to satisfying these measures is to find another third-party web analytics platform that does satisfy the EU privacy standards. A task that is not as easy as it sounds.
Why We Care
As these rulings from different EU nations continue piling up, the possibility of a complete ban on the use of Google Analytics in Europe becomes more and more realistic. Google Analytics is an incredibly useful (and free) tool for marketers across the globe. Unless the platform can find a way to play within the boundaries of the GDPR’s privacy standards, companies across Europe may elect to switch to an EU-based analytics platform. This would make gathering useful data from across the pond very difficult for us in North America.