In a new blow to Google Analytics, it's usage has now been banned in Italy (following similar bans in Austria and France earlier in the year)! In a statement released on 23rd June 2022, Italian SA state:
Italian SA bans use of Google Analytics
No adequate safeguards for data transfers to the USA
A website using Google Analytics (GA) without the safeguards set out in the EU GDPR violates data protection law because it transfers users’ data to the USA, which is a country without an adequate level of data protection.
The Italian SA came to this conclusion after a complex fact-finding exercise it had started in close coordination with other EU data protection authorities following complaints it had received. The Italian SA found that the website operators using GA collected, via cookies, information on user interactions with the respective websites, visited pages and services on offer. The multifarious set of data collected in this connection included the user device IP address along with information on browser, operating system, screen resolution, selected language, date and time of page viewing. This information was found to be transferred to the USA. In determining that the processing was unlawful, the Italian SA reiterated that an IP address is a personal data and would not be anonymised even if it were truncated – given Google’s capabilities to enrich such data through additional information it holds.
The Italian SA highlighted, in particular, that US-based governmental and intelligence agencies may access the personal data being transferred without the required safeguards; it pointed out in this regard that the measures adopted by Google to supplement the data transfer instruments did not ensure an adequate level of protection for users’ personal data in the light of the guidance provided by the EDPB through its Recommendations No 1/2020 of 18 June 2021.
So what does this mean to UK based websites?
So effectively if you are peddling your wares to users in Austria, France or Italy, you absolutely must disable Google Analytics from being loaded for those visitors!
How do I track website usage?
If you rely upon Google Analytics, unfortunately the answer is going to be you can't and there is nothing much you can do about it. However you do have other options including other analytics tools.
Google Analytics 4
Google are planning to retire Google Analytics Universal (current implementation) next year and steps are underway to move users across to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). GA4 is machine learning driven and apparently privacy centric by design, however it's unknown at this time whether this new tool will meet all the EU requirements!
Matomo have two offerings that they claim both provide adequate privacy and meet GDPR and CCPA compliance rules. Their on-premise (which is free btw!) version is great if you have your own infrastructure hosted and managed in the UK as data never needs to leave your own network. The avantage to the On Premise version is that you have full control over where your data is stored, there are no data limits and you have full control to extend and customise the platform to suit your own requirements.
They also have a paid cloud offering (from $19 per month) which may also suit a different set of users but does not have the same extensibility or control options..
They also have the ability to import data from your Google Analytics account so historical information is available - this is very important to a lot of GA users as they don't want to lose historicaly important data.
Custom developed solution
Here at Simon Antony, we have developed a set of analytics tools for some of our own clients which is fully integrated into your website and stores it's data alongside your Umbraco data. Although it's not as comprehensive as the full blow Google Analytics suite, it managed to tick a lot of boxes for the clients that utilised it and is always an option to ensure you have full control over your visit data.
If you would like a custom developed analytics solution for your own Umbraco website, fill in the form below to see how we can help.
Working as a partner with Cloudflare, we offer a new and simpler way to manage analytic and website security with the use of their platform. Essentially Cloudflare is
Cloudflare secures and ensures the reliability of your external-facing resources such as websites, APIs, and applications. It protects your internal resources such as behind-the-firewall applications, teams, and devices. And it is your platform for developing globally-scalable applications.
We've used it for a number of year now managing for DNS management (instant changes - no more ttl waiting time), edge caching, SSL management, Distributed denial of service attacks (DDOS), Bot filtering, Web Application Firewalls (WAF), DNS registration, DNS Security, Email forwarding services and now Analytics (network and web). Deployment simply requires your domain to use our nameservers, everything else is taken care of from that point forwards in the CF dashboard.
As a result of extensive testing with select users, we are now starting to offer managed Cloudflare services which, for a small fee each month, we will configure your domain records to provide all the above protection and enable the analytics module so you can take advange of all that this platform is to offer.
Get in touch if this is something you would like to take advantage of!