Back in December 2021, the Austrian Data Protection has decided in a groundbreaking decision, the continuous use of Google Analytics violates the GDPR, in other words Google Analytics became illegal in Austria. Since then, the Netherlands, France, and now Italy also came to the conclusion: Google Analytics is illegal.
This means, if your website is using Google Analytics and you receive traffic from Austria, the Netherlands, France, or Italy, you need to install a privacy-friendly Google Analytics alternative on your website to continue to get insights about the traffic happening on your website.
The Austrian Data Protection Authority (DSB) was the first to rule the use of Google Analytics illegal. Since then, a chain reaction started, and other E.U. states followed along. The reason for the ruling is pretty simple. Google is a U.S. company that qualifies as an „electronic communication service provider“. Using Google Analytics on your website, leads to the fact that the data you collect will get transferred to the United States, among this data is personal data. Google is obliged by law to disclose data to U.S. intelligence services if requested, the same could happen to your personal data since it gets transferred to the United States. The in 2018 introduced GDPR law has the main goal of safeguarding the privacy of E.U. citizens. Since Google transfers data to the U.S., the E.U. can longer guarantee its citizens’ privacy.
The Italian Data Protection Authority („Garante“) stated that IP addresses were process by Google and thus consisted of transferring personal data while Google Analytics has been installed on a website. After numerous tries and different approach by Google to make sure Google Analytics can be used safely within the E.U. law, the French Data Protection Agency (Commission Nationale Informatique & Libertés - CNIL) mentioned in a statement that it is technically impossible to use Google Analytics compliantly within the E.U. law.
The whole chain reaction of this has already been kicked off back in July 2020 by Schrems II, which invalidated the privacy shield.
You can expect that more E.U. States will follow the ruling of Austria, The Netherlands, France, and Italy. Privacy is a right, and more and more consumers are demanding it. Therefore, it is time to make the switch to not only a privacy-friendly but privacy-focused Google Analytics alternative. There is a wide-range of privacy-focused Google Analytics alternatives available, which makes it hard to start a research regarding which service suits your needs best.
A great starting point is Creativerly’s list of privacy-focused Google Analytics alternatives, which gives you insights and an overview of 27 Google Analytics alternatives which all put privacy first and respect their users’ data.