Google Analytics has been banned in several European countries, with Italy being the latest.
Since December 2021, four European countries have banned Google Analytics. It started with Austria declaring the service illegal in December 2021. France and Holland followed months later in February 2022. Now Italy has joined the fray.
The Italian Data Protection Authority found that the use of Google Analytics by a local web publisher violated General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules.
To understand why these countries are banning Google Analytics, it is important to understand what kind of data it collects. Every time you visit a website, a website, Google Analytics notes the time and date of your visit, the browser you use, your IP address, screen resolution, operating system and language selection, among other items. Is.
Most websites use this data to track what types of content readers like and to curate content around these preferences.
Now whatever data Google Analytics collects is stored in the cloud, but not in storage centers in different countries. Instead, Google stores the data in data centers, most of which are scattered across the US.
This is where the problem comes in. Websites around the world—in various countries—that use Google Analytics have their users/customers data originally in the US, and that data is reportedly insecure.
While the US itself has surveillance laws that prevent the US government from accessing Americans’ data, those laws do not protect people living outside the US.
And many European countries worry that it could mean that US officials could access their citizens’ data and use it for nefarious purposes, such as Facebook sent Cambridge-Analytica to Trump’s political campaign in 2016. The user was allowed to harvest the data.
It will be recalled that recently the US accused China of using TikTok to mine the data of US citizens for the use of the Chinese government. This is similar to the concerns being raised about Google Analytics.
In Europe only Google Analytics is facing some pushback. In fact, more than 5,000 US-based tech companies have been struggling since 2020 after a European court struck down Privacy Shield, an agreement that allows US-based companies to transfer user data from Europe to data centers in the US. allows for. Now, many people are faced with deportation or construction of expensive data centers in Europe.
Europe has always supported policies in the interest of its citizens as it pertains to the handling of big technology, especially from the US. Not long ago, Europe ordered Apple to switch its chargers to C USB, which can be used to charge Android devices as well.
Meanwhile, African regulators are sitting aside and focusing only on how to get more money from poor citizens and even small industry players without making any demands on big technology in the interest of citizens.
Not long ago, Nigeria ordered all social media giants around the world to open local offices in Nigeria so that they can be properly regulated.
The time has come for Africa to support the AfCFTA and demand something from big technology that is relevant to its citizens. C USB charger type and the security of our data from Google Analytics are critical to Africa.