By: Aleks Sztemberg in

Why banning Google Analytics is the best thing that can happen to Europe

Regardless of whether or not your company is physically based in Europe, if you process the data of Europeans then you must comply with GDPR. And as most companies use some sort of analytics software, this means that Google Analytics is likely included in your data processing activities.

That was also the case for an Austrian company- NetDoktor. Their website is like any other, it can track your surfing habits and store them in Google Analytics. The tracking cookie will be assigned an ID number by default when placed on a browser—which makes this medical news company more than just plain curious about you!

NetDoktor, like many others, uses Google data to find out more about their readers. However, sending your personal information through servers that are controlled by an American company, means that intelligence agencies can demand Google to hand over data from European citizens.

Considering that risk, the Austrian data regulator officially announced that, by using Google Analytics, NetDoktor was found guilty of breaking GDPR.

Following that verdict, the European Data Protection supervisor (EDPS) has ordered two more companies to stop using cookies that could compromise user privacy.

A day earlier, it was revealed that this month the Covid-19 testing website for Parliament had also broken GDPR by collecting information through Google Analytics and Stripe according to an order from the EDPS.

With these recent landmark cases, it is clear that privacy advocates have not given up on fighting for their rights. The first decision following a July 2020 ruling, found Privacy Shield illegal and this could pile pressure on negotiators in America who are trying to replace it with new ways of data flow between their country’s side versus Europe’s side.

Europe may be taking a stand against United States-based technology companies if their agreements with European firms are not reciprocal. The Silicon Valley giants currently have licenses from each country that they operate in, but it is possible for them to lose those rights after too much time passes without making adjustments accordingly across both regions.

The European Union has been working to create a common cloud service for citizens which would prevent companies from taking their data across borders. If an agreement takes too long, then similar cases across Europe could have the domino effect and all four large tech firms - Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

And this is just the beginning, as there have already been more than 100 similar other cases so far!

The Austrian decision—and other similar cases currently being considered–highlight tensions between Europe’s strong laws protecting personal information vs how that same data is treated once it’s taken outside of the bloc.

Some are optimistic about reduced reliance on major US tech companies. As a result, change could really help make competition fairer in this part of the continent!

EU businesses now have a fair reason to push for more competition in the market by supporting local analytics companies.

Google Analytics’ industry is estimated to be worth $2 billion annually, but there are less popular alternatives that could provide a similar service and benefit from being supported by European governments, without having their data mined or given away for free.

There are plenty of European cloud-based analytics businesses that don’t get as much attention as American giant- Google Analytics, which is estimated to be used by 28 million websites worldwide. What if we could change this?

One of those companies is Stormly. It is a product manager’s go-to when it comes to analytics. Stormly offers powerful tools as an alternative, or supplement to Amplitude, Mixpanel, Google Analytics and other US- based products.

What’s the best part? It’s fully European-based! That includes company HQ as well as servers, processing data and all operations related to it. So you can rest assured knowing your information will be safe during these times, when NetDoktor or other companies are being fined for sending their customer data across borders into America.

By independently storing your data in Europe with an European company, you can keep it safe from America’s prying eyes and contribute to the changing landscape of industry giants.

Google Analytics is far from being the only option out there, and it’s possible to stay compliant with GDPR even while using a more superior analytics platform. Plus you’ll see your metrics improve! Why not switch today? Sign up now!