Update May 25th 2012
It looks like it's OK again to use Google Analytics in Germany
Today I stopped using Google Analytics (GA) on this blog. The reason is that the German Data Protection Authorities have recently said that usage of GA is illegal. They are of the opinion that the way GA uses IP addresses breaches their laws. I know that some readers of this blog come from Germany. How do I know? Google Analytics.
This blog also uses StatCounter to analyse visitor traffic. StatCounter is based in the EU - Ireland. So that should be OK - at least in Europe. Anyway, I prefer StatCounter so GA is no great loss.
The irony is that this blog is hosted on Google Blogger which is based in the US. This should be OK because Google is signed up to the Safe Harbor framework. This roughly means that it is acceptable to store personal information of EU citizens on Google infrastructure.
An added complication is that Google Blogger has a feature called Stats, which also offers visitor tracking functionality. This is separate to GA, so hopefully it will not be a problem. It is all a bit mind boggling!
So should you remove Google Analytics from your website?
- Google record on EU Safe Harbor list
PS: I have just noticed that the Information Commissioner's website in the UK uses Google Analytics. So maybe he shouldn't visit Germany anytime soon.