German data-protection authorities have broken off talks with Google over its Google Analytics tool, warning that German companies that use it could face legal action and “steep fines”. German privacy officials are concerned that Google Analytics tracks web users’ IP addresses, and that could violate an individual’s privacy.
According to German news site The Local, Johannes Caspar, Germany’s data protection commissioner, told a German newspaper that tracking IP addresses of web users should be illegal.
A Google spokesperson told the German paper that it wasn’t aware the talks had ended. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Google says Analytics isn’t breaking any laws:
Google Analytics complies with European data protection laws and is used by other European data protection authorities on their own websites.
“Some 10% of German internet users are left out of the opt-out option,” Caspar said.