Google Analytics outlawed in Italy

Italy’s data protection authority has declared Google Analytics illegal for use in the country.

The body, Garante, stated that Google had unlawfully transferred users’ data to the USA in violation of GDPR laws. It said that the US is a “country without an adequate level of data protection.” 

In particular, Google Analytics was found to have sent information including device IP address, browser information, OS, screen resolution, language selection, plus the date and time of the site visit. It did so without providing additional measures to ensure it met EU standards.

The statement said: “The Italian SA highlighted, in particular, that US-based governmental and intelligence agencies may access the personal data being transferred without the required safeguards; it pointed out in this regard that the measures adopted by Google to supplement the data transfer instruments did not ensure an adequate level of protection for users’ personal data in the light of the guidance provided by the EDPB through its Recommendations No 1/2020 of 18 June 2021.”

The ruling also sees Caffeina Media S.r.l, an Italian digital agency, reprimanded and ordered to come into compliance within 90 days. It was Caffeina who was the publisher cited in Garante’s verdict on Google.

This is the second time in the month that an EU regulator has damned Google Analytics. Earlier this month, France’s CNIL published updated guidance warning after a similar case in February. It has provided a set of narrow possibilities for EU-based site owners to use the tech legally. Austria’s DSB has also ruled that Google Analytics is illegal.

Google meanwhile has also been hit with an antitrust complaint in Denmark from a local job site. Jobindex alleges that Google for Jobs, which launched in Europe in 2018, used its market power to push its new service at the expense of local competitors.

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