Google Analytics breaks Norwegian privacy laws, local agency said

Google defends Analytics and said it fully complies with Norwegian and European data protection laws

The Norwegian Tax Administration and the State Educational Loan Fund's use of Google Analytics violate the country's privacy laws, because the agencies have no control over how Google uses information about users, the Norwegian Data Protection Authority said on Tuesday.

The authority, which has a history of keeping U.S. IT companies on a short leash, last year took a closer look at how the two organizations used Google Analytics, which is a free service that allows websites to keep track of traffic. The authority has found that agencies' use of the analysis tool is not in accordance with Norwegian law, according to preliminary findings.

Google Analytics collects IP (Internet Protocol) addresses and information about visitor behavior. Since the data can be traced back to an individual, businesses that collect information have to make certain that it is anonymized and used only for statistical purposes, the Data Protection Authority said in a statement.

The authority believes that the Tax Administration and the State Educational Loan Fund do not have control over how IP addresses are treated, because they unconditionally accept the terms of use of Google Analytics, it said. It fears that Google uses the information gathered by Analytics for other things than measuring Web traffic, and now wants documentation from the agencies to prove that isn't the case before it moves forward.

Google and users of Analytics have done nothing wrong and the service fully complies with Norwegian and European data protection laws, according to a statement from Google.

The service has been designed to keep information safe, Google said. Webmasters using Analytics are in complete control over which data is sent to the service and how Google uses, and can use, the information received from their sites, Google said, and added that it has offered to meet the Data Protection Authority several times to answer any questions and it remains willing to do so.

The Tax Administration takes privacy as seriously as the authority does. Therefore, IP addresses made anonymous and it is talking with Google to get documentation the Data Protection Authority has requested, a spokesman said via email.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?