French Watchdog Threatens to Ban Google Analytics Because of the Possibility of Espionage
French data watchdog CNIL has criticised the way Google parent Alphabet handles user data. According to the regulator, the data of citizens of the European Union is not sufficiently protected against being able to view by American secret services.
An important part of Google that keeps track of all kinds of data about people’s behaviour on the internet, Google Analytics, could therefore be banned.
The Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) said the “additional steps” Google has taken to make Analytics more secure “are not enough to keep data away from US intelligence agencies.” For example, Google Analytics keeps track of how many visitors a particular website has. However, transferring that data to the United States “is not currently sufficiently regulated,” according to the French regulator.
In 2013, whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed spying practices at the US Secret Service NSA, the National Security Agency. Two years ago, the European Court ruled that regulators should protect citizens’ data against espionage.
Recently, European authorities have criticised large American tech companies more often. For example, Facebook mother Meta has already threatened to remove Facebook and Instagram from the European market because of the current European legislation.
A Russian regulator has announced that it will impose a fine on Google; it was also announced on Thursday. Video service YouTube is said to have violated competition rules by removing specific videos and accounts. The amount of the fine will be determined later.