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The Google Trap » Blog Archive » German privacy advocates assess Google Analytics German privacy advocates assess Google Analytics - Google, German, Even, Analytics”, Analytics, Thilo, Weichert, Google-services - The Google Trap

German privacy advocates assess Google Analytics

One and a half months ago, you could read it here: Even if Google is not mentioned, Google is inside. Google spies on Internet-users – even on sites that are not related to the company Google. The web analysis tool “Google Analytics”, which is integrated into more than 80 percent of the top 300.000 websites, is key to this troubling situation – and that without the knowledge of the Internet’s users. Google also collects data when we simply surf the web. After Austrian politicians had reacted to this by removing Google Analytics from their websites (“we don’t want our users to become transparent”), their German counterparts are commencing to investigate the analysis tool as well. “ Privacy experts are assessing Google Analytics” is the title of a press release published by the Independent Federal Department for Data Protection, Schleswig Holstein (Unabhängiges Landeszentrum für Datenschutz). Thilo Weichert, has taken up a topic that - I believe – will soon be discussed in other German states as well.

The following statements are made in the second paragraph of the press release, which can be read here: Google openly admitted that the concatenation of user data to data from other Google services is possible. This enables the company to create detailed usage and interest profiles of web surfers, which, in turn, may be used for targeted ads. And all this happens regularly and without the knowledge of those affected. It is an exception that a note is published on websites, stating that the tool is used and data is potentially forwarded to Google in the US. And this is a violation of various privacy protection acts by the authors of the web sites. The users are unaware of, and have by no means agreed to their private and traceable data being used for the creation of user profiles that in turn are then forwarded to an international corporation. Even the German state officials do not know what Google does with the data it collects.

Whether a website uses Google Analytics and virtually forwards its user data to the US, where it is then saved and analyzed in various ways by Google, can be easily identified. The service – as previously presented on this blog – uncovers which sites donate data to Google. Open the URL, click on “domain info”, type in the URL of the questionable website and click on “Domain abfragen” – it’s as simple as that. Under “external Services” one finds all those integrated in the site… oftentimes, you will see references to, or – all Google-services over which the “hip” corporation collects your personal data…

2 Comments zu “German privacy advocates assess Google Analytics”

  1. Tom Shepherd:

    I believe google should give day to day reports on when they are in your web site and have written permisson before that information is used. To much power is given to a few and could cause damage to the reputation of some.

  2. bonk:

    much easier than that.. run noscript, dont allow google analytics and you are not transmitting any data, wherever you surf. and while i use gmail, i dont approve with everything the big G does.