Google Analytics, the worlds most popular website analytical tool, could soon be made illegal in Germany.
There are reports that German government officials are trying to put a ban on Google Analytics and are planning to impose a fine upto €50,000 on websites (approximately 13% of German publishers) who use Google Analytics to collate their users data.
The German privacy protection officials are concerned that Google is collecting the full IP addresses of users, even those who request anonymity and are moving private information of individuals, such as bank and insurance details, to the US which is a strict violation of Germany’s privacy laws.
Moving such sensitive information out of the country has not gone down well with the German authorities who had earlier expressed their concern over personal data of users being moved away from the country and stored on US servers.
Johannes Caspar, commissioner for data protection in Hamburg told a local newspaper earlier this week: “We must clearly say: What Google offers is not enough”. Caspar fears that by storing private data of individuals, Google would be able to track an individual’s movement all over the web and gather information from websites that hold his/her personal data like personal interests, career, lifestyle, wealth, health, political and other preferences. This will give Google a chance to create a profile based on this data and match it with a profile of a known user.
In its defense, Google Germany’s Per Meyerdierks stated that Google has complied to both Germany’s and EU privacy standards since the first version of Google Analytics was made available. Also Google said that they weren’t aware that discussions with the German authorities are over and that they are still strongly working to address their concerns.
The concern showed by the German authorities is fair to a certain extent but for a search giant like Google who collect petabytes of data everyday would they even have the time to go snooping around some ones privacy? It’s like picking a needle out of a huge haystack!