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Google Analytics vs. the European Union
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Google Analytics vs. the European Union

emghemgh Member
edited September 29 in General

Most generic threads posted here are unrelated and quite not that interesting, but this is a big thing so I though I'd make an exception.

So, in short, several EU countries decided that Cloud Act contradicts GDPR, allowing the US access to personal information of EU citizens.

Therefore, a few countries have vaguely warned that having Google Analytics and not being GDPR compliant (unclear how one can have GA while being GDPR compliant) can be a criminal act.

Many more EU countries have decided to make continuous use of Google Analytics illegal, and as the link from France say:

"After receiving complaints from the NOYB association, the CNIL, in cooperation with its European counterparts, analysed the conditions under which the data collected through this service is transferred to the United States. The CNIL considers that these transfers are illegal and orders a French website manager to comply with the GDPR"

I therefore believe most, if not all, will follow in the coming months.

About eight months ago, Wired posted this:

https://www.wired.com/story/google-analytics-europe-austria-privacy-shield/

But only recently, wide adaption of EU countries to follow the ruling has been implemented, with Denmark just a few days ago warning site owners.

In conclusion, in my honest opinion, a one-sided take on this is stupid. There's good and bad with what's happening.

On one hand, the whole idea of Cloud Act is a serious blow to privacy, there's no way around that. I can see, from a european perspective, how it's impossible to guarantee the privacy gains of GDPR if the US have the rights to whatever, since many big internet companies are registered in the US. It makes any EU privacy law redundant, since the US can do whatever anyway.

On the other hand, it's worrying. Creating separate internets isn't at all nice, and it usually ends up with the "excluded part" having worse software. I might be wrong, but I don't think any GA alternative offers the same set of featured combined with being easy-to-use. Sure, there's one's with similar features, but it won't be as easy to have advanced e-commerce tracking, or as easy to integrate with Data Studio or with any 3rd-party tools you might use for Google rank tracking or whatever.

Also, on every privacy-thread on LET, someone is bashing the EU for it's lack of privacy, let's not forget that the topic here is not that, and that even if the European Union has the worst privacy rulings of them all, that dosen't mean that they'd want to give access to the same data to other countries.

Thoughts?

Comments

  • Also, the article from Weird is interesting, because a point they mention is the fact that several data protection laws in the US protects mostly people in the US, and not as much people outside of the US - yet, Cloud Act makes the data accessible to the US even if the person isn't American.

  • emghemgh Member
    edited September 29

    Fact error: I wrote that Cloud Act is an issue because of registered companies in the US, actually, it's worse.

    It's enough to have an entity in the US, an American beneficiary, for the US to require the entity to procure the information from the EU company.

    That's why Google Analytics is an issue even if Google have an Ireland company that they could use - it wouldn't solve it.

    It being illegal is therefore obvious, because it makes it impossible for a european company to both follow Cloud Act and to follow GDPR, one would have to be broken (i.e. sending the information over or not).

  • We have seen alot of "USA" drama from USA companies like facebook and many more so, they can keep whatever they want for their country, in EU we have our own rules. Simple as that.

  • Well, one can still follow GDPR and still report things to the US.

    GDPR is about limiting data you collect to that which is necessary, and storing it appropriately and only for as long as you need it. If you need it because a government has demanded it, that's also fine as long as you declare that on your privacy declaration.

    That said, I'm surprised US companies didn't kick up more of a fuss about this. If a US company is required to allow the government access to any of its data anywhere in the world, that puts them at a distinct commercial disadvantage compared to a non-US company that can't be compelled to do so, except perhaps in the case where data is on a US-based server.

    This can only be a disadvantage for US companies who might lose customers that might be concerned about privacy.

  • @ralf said:
    Well, one can still follow GDPR and still report things to the US.

    GDPR is about limiting data you collect to that which is necessary, and storing it appropriately and only for as long as you need it. If you need it because a government has demanded it, that's also fine as long as you declare that on your privacy declaration.

    That said, I'm surprised US companies didn't kick up more of a fuss about this. If a US company is required to allow the government access to any of its data anywhere in the world, that puts them at a distinct commercial disadvantage compared to a non-US company that can't be compelled to do so, except perhaps in the case where data is on a US-based server.

    This can only be a disadvantage for US companies who might lose customers that might be concerned about privacy.

    That's why they have the company's registered offshore and/or Ireland.

    I don't know the latest. There was some shit years ago about Microsoft cloud stuff and foreign countries worried about US government getting access to foreign datacenters owned by US corps and I think the legal company three card Monty was the workaround for isolation. But there may have been cooperative agreements signed over the years...

  • jsgjsg Member, Resident Benchmarker
    • "GA"? What's that?
    • Well done for once, EU. Without the slightest doubt the rights of hundreds of million of Europeans are way more important than some massive ads spammer corporation.
    • America bloody obviously doesn't give a flying f_ck for the laws of other countries and regions. And any sane European doesn't give a flying f_ck about american rules, let alone about their corporatocracy.
    • Please note that this is not about banning the ad-kraken from spamming everyone with ads to make money. It's about them on sh_tting on basic human rights in order to make more profit (by more tailored ad spam)

    In fact, Europe should ban Google (and twitter and facebook) completely, no ifs no buts. Very welcome side effect: the Europeans would finally be forced to build reasonable alternatives. Note that the fact, that they utterly and consistently failed to do so is a very major factor why Europeans use the american monster corporation services in the first place.

  • @TimboJones said:
    That's why they have the company's registered offshore and/or Ireland.

    I don't know the latest. There was some shit years ago about Microsoft cloud stuff and foreign countries worried about US government getting access to foreign datacenters owned by US corps and I think the legal company three card Monty was the workaround for isolation. But there may have been cooperative agreements signed over the years...

    I did a brief google for Cloud Act and the high-level summary was that US companies are compelled to give access to data held by their company or any company in the same group whether it's on US-soil or not. So, AFAIK the only legal work around is for a completely independent non-US company to own and operate all the servers.

    Thanked by 1TimboJones
  • @jsg said: In fact, Europe should ban Google (and twitter and facebook) completely, no ifs no buts.

    And whats your suggestion to replace those services exactly? Especially Google (which includes Android)?

  • jsgjsg Member, Resident Benchmarker

    @serv_ee said:

    @jsg said: In fact, Europe should ban Google (and twitter and facebook) completely, no ifs no buts.

    And whats your suggestion to replace those services exactly? Especially Google (which includes Android)?

    That's a good and reasonable question and I touched on it already. And it's why I took kind of a big dump on the Europeans (as in governments, EU, etc) because they so far utterly failed to create alternatives (and such de facto helped the american corporate giants). And it wasn't a lack of funding; afaik there were plenty of millions of euros wasted.

  • @jsg said:

    @serv_ee said:

    @jsg said: In fact, Europe should ban Google (and twitter and facebook) completely, no ifs no buts.

    And whats your suggestion to replace those services exactly? Especially Google (which includes Android)?

    That's a good and reasonable question and I touched on it already. And it's why I took kind of a big dump on the Europeans (as in governments, EU, etc) because they so far utterly failed to create alternatives (and such de facto helped the american corporate giants). And it wasn't a lack of funding; afaik there were plenty of millions of euros wasted.

    It's not like there have been any viable options from the EU that could have used funding I think. I personally don't know any. Maybe bring Symbian back to life but thats a hassle to begin with. For search...I mean...even Bing has huge problems gaining any foothold not to mention any new ones.

  • TimboJonesTimboJones Member
    edited September 30

    @jsg said:
    In fact, Europe should ban Google (and twitter and facebook) completely, no ifs no buts. Very welcome side effect: the Europeans would finally be forced to build reasonable alternatives. Note that the fact, that they utterly and consistently failed to do so is a very major factor why Europeans use the american monster corporation services in the first place.

    Sound logic. /s Censorship not surprising. But why should politicians even create a social network platform instead of the free market? I don't get that, at all. You complain that Google knows too much about you, but governments do not?

    Also, why the hate-on for Google? You realize they became number one because they're miles better than others, especially in the advertising world?

    People generally want to see targeted advertising. It does nobody any good offering pantyhose ads to me but instead relevant purchase interests. Your desire to have an inefficient shitty experience that requires MORE ads to be displayed is mind boggling.

  • @TimboJones said:
    People generally want to see targeted advertising.

    Not so much. In my experience, people don't want to see advertising at all, unless they happen to be funny adverts.

    Thanked by 1jsg
  • @ralf said:

    @TimboJones said:
    People generally want to see targeted advertising.

    Not so much. In my experience, people don't want to see advertising at all, unless they happen to be funny adverts.

    That wasn't an option in "targeted ads" vs "generic ads". The choice isn't "any ads" vs "no ads", that's pointless discussion.

    Thanked by 1bikegremlin
  • @TimboJones said:

    @ralf said:

    @TimboJones said:
    People generally want to see targeted advertising.

    Not so much. In my experience, people don't want to see advertising at all, unless they happen to be funny adverts.

    That wasn't an option in "targeted ads" vs "generic ads". The choice isn't "any ads" vs "no ads", that's pointless discussion.

    Yup.

    My long-winded drivel (thoughts) on the topic - from a content-creator's point of view:

    Mailing list and website monetization (adverts)

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