The Austrian Data Protection Authority (“Datenschutzbehörde” or “DSB” or “DPA”) has ruled that Austrian website providers using Google Analytics are in violation of the GDPR.
This ruling stems from a decision made in 2020 by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that stated that cloud services hosted in the US are incapable of complying with the GDPR and EU privacy laws. The decision was made because of the US surveillance laws requiring US providers (like Google or Facebook) to provide personal data to US authorities.
The 2020 ruling, known as “Schrems II”, marked the ending of the Privacy Shield, a framework that allowed for EU data to be transferred to US companies that became certified.
About the Austrian DPA’s Model Case
In this specific case, noyb (the European Center for Digital Rights) found that IP addresses (which are classified as personal data by the GDPR) and other identifiers were sent to the US in cookie data as a result of the organisation using Google Analytics.
This model case led to the DPA’s decision to rule that Austrian website providers using Google Analytics are in violation of GDPR. It is believed that other EU Member States will soon follow in this decision as well.
“We expect similar decisions to now drop gradually in most EU member states. We have filed 101 complaints in almost all Member States and the authorities coordinated the response. A similar decision was also issued by the European Data Protection Supervisor last week.”
What does this mean if you are using Google Analytics?
If there is one thing to learn from this case, it is that ignoring these court rulings and continuing to use Google Analytics is not a viable option.
If you are operating a website in Austria, or your website services Austrian citizens, you should remove Google Analytics from your website immediately.
For businesses in other EU Member States, it is also highly recommended that you take action before noyb and local data protection authorities start targeting more businesses.
Statistics always need a bit of unpicking and you’ll see that two exclusions are made –
Does domain pricing have an impact?
Certainly domain pricing the UK and Netherlands for their own country domain name, .uk and .nl is low compared to many countries, but Switzerland (.ch) pricing is comparable to what you pay for a .com or .org domain. However the statistics collected include all “flavours” of domain extension (we think), so the graph is really a good overview of domain name usage as a whole and pricing should not make too much of a difference.
What does the future hold?
An annual survey from Afnic, shows the number of domain names registered and held continues to grow year by year.
The global domain name market accounted for approximately 349 million domain names at the end of December 2020, up 1.3% compared to the 4.7% in 2019, broken down between:
155 million .com and 32 million other Legacy TLD (.net, .org, .biz, etc.)
130 million ccTLDs (country TLDs, corresponding to a territory or country like the .fr domain)
32 million new TLDs or nTLDs (geoTLD, brand TLDs and community TLDs and generic TLDs created after 2012).
Undoubtedly domain name usage will continue to grow as more businesses and individuals launch websites and email for themselves. 2020Media can help you with your search for the perfect domain, just contact us at www.2020media.com/contact.
The election results for the newly formed UK Registry Advisory Council have been released and we are delighted that Rex Wickham of 2020Media has been elected as one of the “large” registrar category representatives for a 2 year term.
Andy Green, new Chair of Nominet, wrote
“It is an important body that will bring industry perspective, insight and knowledge to Nominet’s decision-making. There are substantive policy issues to tackle as the council gets underway, including how we release expired domains. I also look forward to the council’s input as we develop plans to re-establish the forum. “
As Rex wrote in his election statement, he is committed to seeing Nominet enact real change and hopes the UK RAC can make a meaninful contribution to doing that. Rex added:
“I am delighted to have been elected to the Council and will honour my commitment to hearing from Nominet members of all sizes and business models. There is a long road ahead but with a broad base of support for change, I am optimistic and look forward to working with my fellow Council members.”
Nominet members are welcome to contact Rex about UKRAC matters using email@example.com. If you’d like a call instead please drop a line first and he’ll make contact.
If you’re a Nominet member, we’d love your support for him.
Rex is standing in the ‘Large Registrar’ category and supports reform of Nominet along the http://PublicBenefit.uk campaign aims. You can read more on why Rex and 2020Media want Nominet to change in our blog post 2020Media Supports Reform of Nominet UK
2020Media is perhaps the only one of the “Large Registrar” category who are not a corporate behemoth and as a candidate Rex is very much grounded in day to day operations of a UK based hosting company.
Here is the election statement from Rex:
I’m standing for the UKRAC because I care about shaping the future registration policy of Nominet. Sadly members are not getting a fair say over all Nominet policy but the RAC is a start. I believe I can represent the views of the retail registrar. My company, 2020Media, has been registering domains for over 20 years, with a customer base ranging from individuals to corporates and
Membership of RIPE and ICANN for many years has also influenced my decision to stand -there’s a lot to learn from these organisations (both good and bad) and I hope my experiences will make the UKRAC a more effective voice for members.
Outside of the internet world, I’ve a wider interest in good governance and currently hold the post of school governor co-chair of a primary school federation, secretary of my co-op resident’s association and I’ve just completed a stint on the PCC of my local church.
I did support the Public Benefit EGM to restore Nominet’s purpose and I remain committed to seeing Nominet enact real change. I want to see Nominet lower executive pay, fairly set domain pricing, increase spending on meaningful public benefit causes and refocus on core registry operations and finally become more open and transparent with members.
Voting is already open and runs until 22nd July.
Other candidates who have declared support for reform of Nominet along these lines are shown in the table below. If you share these views, please vote for any of these candidates.
If elected, Rex welcomes input from Nominet members – please email firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance but telephone and chat are also available.