Both Google And Facebook Run Afoul Of The GDPR

Bad news for Google today. Hot off the heels of an Austrian website having been found to violate the GDPR because of their use of Google Analytics, France’s privacy watchdog has found something similar:

Use of Google Analytics has now been found to breach European Union privacy laws in France — after a similar decision was reached in Austria last month.

The French data protection watchdog, the CNIL, said today that an unnamed local website’s use of Google Analytics is non-compliant with the bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — breaching Article 44 which covers personal data transfers outside the bloc to so-called third countries which are not considered to have essentially equivalent privacy protections.

The U.S. fails this critical equivalence test on account of having sweeping surveillance laws which do not provide non-U.S. citizens with any way to know whether their data is being acquired, how it’s being used or to seek redress for any misuse.

And Facebook isn’t immune from this:

The regulator told us the use of Facebook Connect by French site managers “has also been the subject of complaints to the CNIL, which are currently being investigated”.

Both Google and Facebook have a problem here. It’s clear that the EU isn’t going to adopt US standards as normal. Which in turn will lead to difficulties for US companies who operate in the EU unless they alter their behaviour. Which it will be interesting to see how, Google, Facebook and other US companies adapt.

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