INTERNET GIANT Google has found itself on the wrong side of German data protection authorities once again, this time over its Google Analytics tool.
It is the latest in a string of battles over data privacy between Google and the Germans. Last year, Google revealed that it had been hoovering up bits of private data from wireless networks over the years while snapping the pics for its Street View service.
This time the ruckus is over the Google Analytics tool, which is free and gathers data about how visitors use a website, the Wall Street Journal reports. The software does this by tracking IP addresses, which apparently German regulators aren't particularly happy about.
Google said it would make some changes to the service, such as an opt-out option for users of the major web browsers. But German data protection officials said that this doesn't go far enough, and simply broke off talks.
This means that website owners in Germany might be fined heavily for using Google Analytics. Some European authorities have been particularly suspicious of Google's ability to poke into data that they view should be private.
We're pretty used to Google poking into our private data, and there are ways to prevent that, but it's good to know that there are people out there who will hold the company to account if it doesn't actually need what it collects. µ
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