Supervisory authorities against Google Analytics & Co.

Google Analytics and similar services only lawful with consent?

In the press release of November 14, the State Commissioner for Data Protection of Lower Saxony points out the necessary consent of users to the integration of third-party providers of tracking tools who process personal data of users also in their own interest. 

Operators are strongly advised to check the websites for tracking services and third-party applications. If such services are used, the consent of the users must be obtained, otherwise the use is unlawful, so the data protection authority.

A cookie banner that allows further surfing on the website without the explicit consent of the user is insufficient for this. Even a ticked box (opt-out solution) is not sufficient. An explicit opt-in by the user for the use of tracking services is regarded as mandatory by the data protection supervisory authority.

However, there are also other legal opinions on the subject of opting in for tracking and advertising cookies, as was also presented in the last ePrivacy newsletter (see below – “What should we do now?”). Insofar, it remains to be seen whether and how the data protection authorities will act in this regard.