The CNIL and DSB selections on Google Analytics: How publishers can put together for the longer term | What’s New in Publishing


The French CNIL in cooperation with different European counterparts has declared that Google Analytics’ transfers of EU knowledge—protected below the GDPR—to america are in breach of the GDPR and has ordered a French web site supervisor to adjust to the regulation and, if essential, to cease utilizing Google Analytics below the “present situations it supplies” inside one month.

Their resolution was based mostly on Google’s failure to ensure that European knowledge stays saved in keeping with the necessities of the GDPR. The CNIL additionally added that US authorities surveillance legal guidelines can require US suppliers like Google or Fb to supply the non-public particulars of web customers to US authorities. This resolution although was squarely geared toward Google and Fb and no different US suppliers.

Additional reactions from the DPAs of different EU member states which might be coated by the GDPR are anticipated to comply with quickly.

Piano not too long ago organized a webinar to dive into the CNIL’s resolution, clarify the rulings levied upon Google Analytics, and the way companies can determine reliable analytics suppliers. The session featured main knowledge privateness specialists Fabrice Naftalski, Lawyer at Legislation Associate at Ernst & Younger, Louis-Marie Guérif, Piano’s Group DPO, and Declan Owens, Piano’s Director of Options Engineering.

Watch the webinar right here or learn on for an in depth abstract. 

How is private knowledge and knowledge switch outlined within the GDPR?

Private knowledge

Beneath the GDPR, Private Information is outlined as “any data associated to an recognized or identifiable (straight or not directly) bodily individual, particularly by reference to a web based identifier.”

This notably contains any not directly identifiable or pseudonymous data corresponding to:

  • IP addresses
  • Any on-line identifier – cookie, cell, promoting, fingerprinting
  • Any data mixture that may result in a single individual being recognized – navigation, habits or some other demographic knowledge

Non-Compliant: Google isn’t totally clear about what they classify as Personally Identifiable Data.

Information switch/storage

Article 14 of the GDPR states that the controller wants to tell the place private knowledge is saved and that they should present data of all transfers of private knowledge exterior the EU. This includes offering correct dedication and full transparency about the place knowledge is saved and probably transferred.

Non-Compliant: Google fails to supply this data.

Why do the French CNIL and different DPAs think about Google Analytics to be unlawful?

Following on from the European Court docket of Justice’s resolution to invalidate the US Privateness Defend in 2020—a mechanism protecting the switch of information from the EU to the US—the CNIL has additionally now declared Google Analytics to have an inadequate degree of safety for the switch of European private knowledge protected below the GDPR.

Right here’s how Google Analytics falls in need of the authorized necessities of the GDPR and the background to the CNIL’s resolution.

Google’s misinterpretation of the GDPR’s definition of private knowledge

Google strays from the strict definition within the GDPR and doesn’t think about the next as private knowledge:

  • Pseudonymous cookie IDs
  • Pseudonymous promoting IDs
  • IP addresses
  • Different pseudonymous finish person identifiers. Which means any IP request despatched with an advert request (which incorporates virtually all advert requests) is just not formally thought of as sending PII below the GDPR 

The GDPR additionally states in article 5 that “Private knowledge should be processed lawfully, pretty and in a clear method in relation to the info topic”. Which means all web site and app publishers who collect private knowledge must set out exactly how this data is collected and used.

Google Analytics fails to specify how its knowledge is collected and used. On the Google Analytics Assist web page, it states that ‘utilization knowledge’ (the above classes) is just not ‘Personally Identifiable Data’. The knowledge safety supervisory authorities due to this fact expressly level out that the info processed with Google Analytics (utilization knowledge and different device-specific knowledge that may be assigned to a selected person) is private knowledge inside the that means of the GDPR.

Failure to fulfill necessities for EU-US knowledge switch/storage

Information switch to the US from the EU have strict necessities, notably the necessity to implement the suitable safeguards (CCT, BCR), present further technical measures (pseudonymization, encryption), give full transparency on how knowledge is accessed, strengthen the importer’s audit process and apply strict safety and privateness insurance policies (based mostly on EU certifications/code of conduct, ISO commonplace).

Google is just not clear about the place its knowledge is saved. Beneath the GDPR, private knowledge transmission to non-EU international locations is feasible, with the implementation of acceptable safeguards (international locations with sufficient ranges of safety, informing guests, and respecting their rights)


  • Google shows on their web site that their knowledge facilities are distributed throughout the globe. 
  • They fail to ensure that European knowledge stays saved within the EU 
  • US authorities surveillance legal guidelines particularly require US suppliers like Google or Fb to supply the non-public particulars of web customers to US authorities 
  • In response to the CNIL, there’s a danger that American intelligence companies may entry private knowledge transferred to america if the transfers aren’t correctly regulated

The background to the CNIL’s resolution

The CNIL’s resolution primarily states that Google Analytics and Fb Join fail to stick to the above necessities to be GDPR compliant. It due to this fact solely refers to those two suppliers and no different firms within the US or elsewhere. It was based mostly on the 101 mannequin complaints filed by noyb—the web site run by Austrian knowledge privateness activist Max Shrems and refers again to the 2020 “Schrems II” case declaring that the switch of information to the US is in violation of the GDPR.

  • The info safety authorities of a number of EU international locations have joined the CNIL in reacting to the assertion that Google Analytics is in breach of the GDPR:
  • The European Information Safety Supervisor (EDPS) issued a choice after a criticism filed by NOYB confirming that the European Parliament violated knowledge safety legislation on its COVID testing web site. The EDPS highlights that the usage of Google Analytics and the fee supplier Stripe (each US firms) violated the Court docket of Justice’s “Schrems II” ruling on EU-US knowledge transfers.
  • The Austrian DSB was the primary European authority to come back to the conclusion that the usage of Google Analytics violates “Schrems II”, based mostly on the NOYB’s complaints.
  • Datatilsynet, Norway’s knowledge safety authority, advises organizations in Norway to contemplate alternate options to Google Analytics. The authority introduced that two ongoing investigations might result in convictions for utilizing Google Analytics.
  • The Dutch knowledge safety authority (Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens) has introduced that it’s investigating two complaints additionally regarding the usage of Google Analytics and signifies on its web site that the usage of this device might not be approved

What are the sanctions and potential options?

Firms that proceed utilizing Google Analytics must take motion quick or face the chance of penalties for a GDPR breach. Following a proper discover to the web site supervisor (knowledge controller) Google Analytics customers want to right away convey their analytics into GDPR compliance or cease utilizing GA in its present model. They’ve a one-month deadline to conform.

Formal discover procedures have been initiated in opposition to managers of websites utilizing Google Analytics together with the usage of the cloud and the switch of information to international locations exterior the EU that don’t present an sufficient degree of safety. Particularly referring to the US, the CNIL has acknowledged that:

  • Further territorial knowledge switch to the US doesn’t present adequate ensures, principally resulting from doable entry of US authorities to private EU knowledge
  • Google’s Customary Contractual Clauses for switch aren’t deemed adequate
  • Google’s knowledge encryption is just not adequate and IP deal with not anonymized earlier than switch to the US

Firms at present utilizing GA have a number of choices to proceed amassing and processing their person knowledge in keeping with the GDPR. A brand new EU-US Privateness Defend might come quickly however firms are nonetheless open to fines for previous habits. One other solution to function is to acquire further consent from customers for knowledge transfers, however this might solely apply to ‘distinctive circumstances’ and ‘occasional transfers’ below the GDPR.

Companies may additionally select to attend for any response measures taken by Google Analytics or look ahead to a doable enchantment to the CNIL ruling. Nevertheless, all of that is prone to take longer than the one-month deadline to cease utilizing GA.

Maybe essentially the most viable answer is for firms to decide on an analytics answer that’s compliant with the GDPR. A number of exist in the marketplace and have already been evaluated by the CNIL. Piano Analytics is the primary answer to have been accredited by the CNIL and has additionally been thought of to be GDPR-compliant because the Piano aquired AT Web in 2021.

How can analytics managers mitigate knowledge privateness dangers?

Piano’s Director of Options Engineering, Declan Owens continued the webinar by weighing the privateness dangers concerned in working with analytics every day.

The significance of mutual collaboration

Information and analytics are current all through firms as we speak. It’s due to this fact very important for stakeholders in any respect ranges of the group to assist the data-centric strategy. This significantly applies to the personas that the Analytics Supervisor will depend on to hold out their function:

  • Govt officers – they provide recognition for outcomes and supply the related strategic budgets which might be the muse for all digital actions in a corporation from digital purposes to web optimization to analytics. With out govt assist, there shall be budgetary blocks to growing analytics tasks and offering knowledge to the completely different firm stakeholders.
  • Enterprise customers – relying on the dimensions of the groups inside the group, enterprise customers are interdependent on the usage of analytics which performs an important function in assembly their objectives. They, due to this fact, depend on readily accessible and actionable knowledge and must play an lively function in knowledge governance. With out the collaboration of enterprise customers, they’re prone to search for their very own options which might create silos. This has a unfavourable influence on an organization-wide international knowledge technique which might have an effect on model homogeneity and id.
  • Information Safety Officer – the DPO performs an important function in privateness compliance and it’s important to work intently with them to ensure all elements of the processing of private knowledge are in keeping with the GDPR. With out their assist, your analytics setup shall be severely hampered and even legally penalized.

How can the Analytics Supervisor meet the wants of those personas?

There are three steps an analytics supervisor must implement to fulfill the privateness necessities of groups in a corporation. These are significantly necessary for firms which might be questioning the compliance of their present analytics device and pondering of migrating to another GDPR-compliant supplier.

  1. Perform a Privateness Impression Evaluation (PIA) – extremely beneficial by Information Safety Authorities (DPAs) who present ready-made templates, this can be a detailed evaluation of all the info privateness and safety elements of your analytics setup. It covers all of the instruments and processes to make sure knowledge privateness requirements are in place throughout the board. If companies don’t have a full imaginative and prescient of the implant of their knowledge practices, they haven’t any manner of adjusting their technique and plan accordingly.
  2. Work with an analytics supplier that makes accountability simple – all firms are accountable to DPAs so that they want to ensure they will shortly and easily show their privateness compliance and keep away from the chance of penalties for non-compliance. It’s due to this fact necessary to work with a clear device that data and may show all of the privateness measures you may have in place and precisely the way you’ve been ingesting and processing knowledge. This additionally contains skilled assist out of your analytics supplier who’re accountable and may guarantee you may have full management over your knowledge privateness.
  3. Embrace these situations when organising analytics for a enterprise unit – it’s necessary to make enterprise models conscious that they should take acceptable knowledge privateness precautions when monitoring audiences. They should perceive and abide by the laws in place to keep away from the potential penalties of a positive for an information privateness breach. Educating all of the stakeholders concerned in regards to the significance of information privateness is the one solution to implement a paradigm shift within the group.

“We’re transferring into a brand new period in knowledge privateness. If you’re strongly depending on intensive monitoring and invested in focused promoting, you might be heading in the direction of a brick wall.” 

Declan Owens, Director of Options Engineering, Piano

What are the advantages of a privateness strategy for the Analytics Supervisor?

An important facet of a privacy-centric strategy is working in concord with the DPO for the general advantage of the group. The PIA ensures that each one the privateness bases are coated and ensures GDPR compliance so you might be free to give attention to growing analytics tasks.

Having a strong privateness footing additionally supplies peace of thoughts and a possibility to construct your analytics technique unimpeded. Numerous firms are thriving with totally compliant practices and it’s important to turn into certainly one of them.

Compliance additionally supplies companies with a aggressive benefit as you might be engaged on strong floor. In case you embrace knowledge privateness and work with it, you can be forward of opponents that cling to an unlawful and outdated strategy to knowledge assortment.

What are the primary knowledge privateness necessities for a compliant and reliable analytics platform?

To spherical off the webinar, Louis-Marie, Piano Group DPO, explains what firms ought to anticipate from a vendor to make sure they’re GDPR compliant.

Above all, firms seeking to migrate to another answer ought to search for these offering a balanced relationship between Information Controller and Information Supplier (vendor), based mostly on compliance. Conforming with article 28 of the GDPR, this includes a transparent and express Information Safety Settlement (DPA) that specifies:

  • These chargeable for all actions regarding the knowledge and who informs which events
  • Precisely what private knowledge is processed, how and for what objective
  • The place the info is processed and saved and the related ensures

Firms also needs to be sure their supplier has a DPA that’s obtainable in easy, accessible documentation on easy methods to function in keeping with the GDPR. This includes simply accessible assist with clear solutions to make sure compliance, in addition to a selected knowledge privateness contact individual.

What’s the very best strategy transferring ahead?

In March 2022, the EU and US introduced an settlement in precept on a Transatlantic Information Privateness Framework (TADPF) which must be the successor to EU-US Privateness Defend. Nevertheless it has not been drafted but and there’s not anticipated to be a last adequacy resolution earlier than the top of 2022.

Google’s unlawful knowledge transfers to the US is a sizzling subject in the intervening time, however compliance with privateness laws is nothing new and GDPR enforcement will proceed. Finishing up influence assessments and anticipating the longer term use of information is one of the best ways to keep away from the chance of being penalized by sudden adjustments to the privateness state of affairs.

It’s primarily about danger administration and the ensures you will get out of your supplier that makes selecting another the most secure and most viable choice. 

This text was first printed on the Piano weblog and is republished with sort permission. Piano helps the world’s largest media firms construct devoted audiences and enhance revenues.


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