Digital Marketing News – Google Responds To Privacy Laws In Germany



Google responds to privacy laws in Germany.

While the big brains are still knocking their heads together over the new privacy laws, Hamburg’s data protection commissioner, Johannes Caspar, is already making strides to force local companies to comply.

Caspar has been working with Google’s Germany HQ, also based in Hamburg, to ensure companies using its analytics aren’t breaching user’s privacy rights.

Google has introduced changes which include an add-on for popular browsers which allow users to opt out of being tracked. The update will also provide a function which can shorten users IP address to anonymise them, and site owners will have to sign an agreement stating they will handle user data in accordance with the laws.

Unfortunately for many owners, the agreements mean all historical data must be deleted, as it wouldn’t have been collected in a way that falls in line with the guidance. This means companies will be forced to reset their analytics accounts and start afresh.

While the rest of Europe is still mulling over the options, Germany is taking no prisoners and failure to comply with the laws can result in a fine of up to 50,000 Euros.

While Google’s updates probably won’t be terribly popular, Caspar has made it clear that the responsibility for ensuring compliance in collecting analytics data sits firmly with site owners and not with Google.

Clearly Google has been pushed for a response in Hamburg before the rest of Europe but this could certainly be a taste of things to come for the rest of us reliant on our analytics data. Still, the best way to learn about what works is to put something out there and see what happens. Glad its not my site being used as the guinea pig though.

German officials have issued a blog detailing the changes, it’s in German but if you can either read the language or can be bothered to translate it here’s the link.


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