For some time in Italy there has been a “rumor” according to which uto be Google Analyitcs would be “illegal”. In the silence of the judiciary – the only one entitled to definitively establish such a fact – and of the Authority for the protection of personal data, more or less organized initiatives are multiplying that “distrust” public administrations not to use the Big G. Many platform ” DPO ”- the data protection officers – for not knowing how to read or write advise their customers to get rid of the inconvenient tool tout court. In reality, however, things are not that simple and therefore, to understand something, these FAQs may be useful.
Who has definitively established that the use of Google Analytics is illegal?
In Italy, still no one.
So why is it said that they are outlawed?
Because this is the opinion of the French Guarantor and the Austrian Guarantor.
Do these decisions apply to the whole of the EU?
No. Each national data protection authority is autonomous.
And couldn’t they agree to avoid differences between one country and another?
Yes. They could and should do it, but it hasn’t happened yet.
But what value do the decisions of the Guarantors have?
They are valid until a sentence confirms or denies them. In Italy, only the Court of Cassation has the power to establish principles of law. In the meantime, however, they must be respected.
I still don’t understand: why would Google Analytics be outlawed?
Because, according to the two Guarantors, when a site forwards the visitor’s IP to Google and Google has other information about the user, it can associate the old with the new and increase the detail of the profiling on the individual person. Since this happens in the US, there would be no adequate safeguards for citizens of EU states. There would also be other aspects to consider, but this would already be enough.
Japan enters the Analytics War. Is this the end of EU legal imperialism?
by Andrea Monti
February 16, 2022
Seriously, is IP alone a personal data?
No, and the EU Court of Justice has also established it. To be a personal data, the IP it must be associated with other elements (for example, signing up to bypass a paywall or log into your account on an e-commerce site).
So, a site that can be consulted without registration can use Google Analytics?
In general, yes, because the legislation on the protection of personal data applies to those who process them directly (in the sense that they have all the information to identify an individual), not to those who collect anonymous data (only IP) and then forward them to someone else who can recombine them.
So why are they recommending me to abandon Analytics?
And who knows? In order to answer, it would be necessary to analyze the way in which the platform was implemented on a case-by-case basis. Without this preventive and detailed verification, “downloading” Google Analytics only translates into additional consultancy and operating costs.
Meta’s threat is the fruit of European hypocrisy and cultural subordination to North American models
by Andrea Monti
08 February 2022
And couldn’t my consultants have warned me earlier?
The answer is complex. There are consultants who have a theoretical knowledge of the legislation. So I am only able to provide guidance if there is a previous case to refer to. In other words, they are archaeologists without ever having seen an excavation. It is no coincidence that Google Analytics has become a case, but only after some authority has ruled. Instead, the consultants who, over time, highlighted the problems of using Made in USA services were considered Cassandras and their advice was not taken into consideration. In addition, many subjects (public and private) are reluctant to adopt alternative solutions. If “everyone does so”, why should we do something different? Finally, those who develop web platforms find it more convenient to use Google Analytics (if only because it works) and do not have the problem of the existence of alternative tools.
But why is all this happening?
Because the US and the EU have been fighting each other in the Analytics War for some time.