The German Data Protection Commissioner, Johannes Caspar, announced today that prohibits German websites use the free Google Analytics tool.
Google Analytics es, today a basic tool for the measurement and analysis of traffic for any website. It's free, easy to implement, and provides much information to webmaster:
– Where does the traffic coming to the site: what percentage comes through search engines or through which sites that we link. What are the sites that we link.
– The visits come from search engines, What words are those that have been used to reach our site.
– How long the user stays on our site.
– Which pages are the ones you have interested most.
– What is your country of origin…
Very important data for the web is improving and offering increasingly better quality content for your audience.
However, German commissioner has argued that the collection of IP addresses may violate the privacy of citizens. He has threatened with fines up 50.000 euros for the company you use on your website.
With what we know, in our country, although a webmaster know that you have visited a user from the IP 126.96.36.199 the 13 January at 17:04 does not bring any personal data.
The only one who knows that address was assigned to the router Jose Perez and his home is the ISP (Telefónica, That, Orange, Vodafone…) that provides access to sr. Pérez. And those companies do not provide any such information without a warrant.
It is possible that the German commissioner knows something we do not. Alternatively feel like going out in the news or even more Catholic than the Pope.
Although this is a free service, for Google this is a serious breach, because now most companies do not know if its budget on online advertising is still useful or not. And in that scenario, it is normal to reduce their spending on advertising in Adwords (a major source of revenue for Google, why he bought and offers free Analytics service).
In this scenario, it is normal that the lords of Google will spend whatever it takes to lawyers and to denounce the German commissioner in court. And also you require damages. And if you finally give reason, as in Spain, not pay the commissioner man who commits the cacicada, but the suffering taxpayers. Although perhaps give reason to Sr. Gaspar. We'll see.
There are still many unknowns about the future of this issue, but the only thing certain is that all German companies who choose to pay attention to your trustee will return to the average age of the Internet and will be less competitive, because they will have much less useful information to keep improving your website. And those who choose to disobey, have a sword of Damocles over their business. Now it is up to the German companies choose between fire and embers.
German plumber who has a web, I guess that will give equal. Now, for the German company whose core business is internet (virtual shops of all kinds, free web services that are financed by advertising…) itself is a blow. Even if it gets ugly, it is normal that the latter arising divert your internet business to other countries with less interventionist authorities, that after all, limit internet, in many cases it is like putting the tide.
I just hope the director of the Spanish Agency for Data Protection decides to establish itself as European and world champion data protection and ban here too.