Google Analytics Ruled Illegal in France and Austria

With the new GDPR (“General Data Protection Regulation”) rules in effect in the EU (“European Union”), courts in both Austria and France have determined that websites utilizing Google Analytics violate EU privacy regulations. If you are using Google Analytics and your webserver is located in the EU and/or your website has visitors from the EU, then you are at risk of violation of GDPR.

What should you do if you’re using Google Analytics? The safest course of action is to stop using it and switch to an analytics platform that respects privacy. Matomo is such an analytics platform and is used by Cardinal Acres Web Development to supply our customers with analytics information.

Using a privacy-respecting analytics package isn’t enough, though. To comply with GDPR, all websites should also do the following:

  • provide site visitors with a clear notice of any tracking procedures used
  • publish a “privacy policy”
  • provide a means to “opt-out” of tracking

Even if you don’t actively seek visitors to your website from the EU or sell products/services to the EU, there are other privacy regulations similar to GDPR which might apply to:

  • CCPA (“California Consumer Privacy Act”)–the provisions of CCPA typically only apply to large companies (annual gross revenues greater than $25 million), which buy/sell personal information, and earn 50% or more of their income from selling personal information.
  • HIPAA (“Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act”)–if you store any “protected health information“, you are subject to HIPAA privacy regulations.

All of this should make it apparent that transparent privacy practices regarding personal information are going to become increasingly important in the coming years, even for small companies. Getting a head start on implementing some basic privacy practices will put your small business ahead of those that ignore this trend.

Cardinal Acres Web Development can assist with implementing privacy policies as well as allowing your site visitors to opt-out of tracking (assuming you are using our Matomo site analytics). Read more about Site Analytics and take Matomo for a test drive.