Bad news for those of us who have been working for years with websites of various clients, as one of the pillars of the Internet may be in danger in Europe.

This is Google Analytics, the leading web analytics tool, used by millions of people around the world to better understand the traffic they receive from the Internet.

The Austrian Data Protection Authority has ruled that Google Analytics is in breach of the GDPR, a decision stemming from that made in 2020 by the European Court of Justice, which declared that cloud services hosted in the U.S. are incapable of complying with GDPR and EU privacy laws.

In Europe, they don’t want their users’ data to cross the ocean. U.S. providers, such as Google or Facebook, must keep such information on the continent, and otherwise there will be GDPR violation.

After the 2020 decision, the tech industry became concerned, but many companies decided to ignore the case. Then an Austrian company was denounced, and may have to pay up to 20 million euros or 4 % of the organization’s global turnover.

In this specific case it was verified that IP addresses were sent to the US in cookie data because of Google Analytics, and they came to the conclusion that banning this tool on Austrian websites would be the best option. It is believed that other EU member states will soon follow this decision as well, but no word yet.

Google would have to change the way Analytics works, not just add text to its privacy policies, to prevent data considered personal from being sent to the United States. For the time being, an IP address is considered personal data, so the controversy is already in the air.

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