Google Analytics and german laws about data privacy

Today I tried to make my blog a little bit more ’save‘ in terms of data privacy laws. BUT as long as I live in germany and host this site in germany it’s not that easy.

I will not write a lot about the laws and what’s standing behind that. All of that is of course useful and important. But to come to the point, what I have to do if I want to make my blog save, in the matter of data privacy? In general it’s not hard to do that until you want to use Google Analytics. In that case you have to do the following, if you located in Germany:

  1. Anonymize the tracked IP by adding 
    _gaq.push(['_gat._anonymizeIp']);
     to your Analytics tracker (Documentation)
  2. Fill out a contract about the data privacy, sign it, send it to Google and they will send it back to you (contract)
  3. Add „Terms and Conditions“ to your site and especially change the „Privacy Policy“ to the correct terms for Google Analytics (Sample Privacy Policy, scroll down to see the english version). In there it will be good to mention the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Addon
  4. Delete your old data on Google Analytics (delete your account and recreate it, no other way to do it)

 

To step #1, that’s easy, check – I’ve done that.

Next step #2, I printed out the contract (15 sheets) and so long I didn’t read through it. I think it will cause a lot of headaches if you are not doing that law stuff every day.

Step  #3, now it’s getting really hard. If you try to find some model contract, no chance. There are a lot, but without the Analytics terms. And the most of the pages tell you, that it’s hard to match every usecase. That means if you want to make sure your „Terms and Conditions“ are correct, you have to consult a lawyer. WTF? I only want to track how many users read that site, but don’t ask a lawyer, and pay a lot of money for that.

In the last step #4 I have to delete all my data, because everything is stored with the full IP and that’s not allowed in Germany. Google don’t let you delete the data, so you have to delete your account and create a new one. That also means you will get a new id and maybe have to change all your scripts for tracking.

For me that’s too much at the end. I disabled the tracking and will not see the number of clicks, anymore. Maybe I will take the step to consult a lawyer in the future, but for now I wont.

Posted Samstag, Februar 25th, 2012 under general.

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