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Is Google Analytics Illegal? Here’s what we know in February 2023

First, the whole thing started back in January 2022 when Austria’s data regulators found that the use of Google (Universal) Analytics is a breach of GDPR. This was followed by France in February. This is not Google specific problem but a problem with many other tech giants that store user data in US.  In March 2022 Ursula von der Leyen and Joe Biden stepped in to push through a political deal for data transfers. After this, in October 2022 Biden signs executive order on EU-US data privacy agreement. In February 2023 European Data Protection Board started scrutinizing Meta’s data transfers to the United States. They will issue their decision by April 14th. The new pact between the EU and US is likely to be finalised before July 2023.

So what does this really mean? As far as I’m aware this has not been tested in any court yet. Data regulators in various different EU countries have ruled that the practice is illegal but no case has been tested in court yet. EU and US are constantly working together to enable the legal transfer of data across the Atlantic.  The way I see it is that we are in this unclear state of transition while the lawmakers in the US and EU figure this out.

This is of course difficult decision for companies.  Should I stay with Google Analytics or move to other platforms. Regarding the data transfer issues, my advice is to do nothing before the decision by data regulations is tested in court or the laws are updated.

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