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Google Analytics May Violate Norwegian Privacy Laws

Liviu ARSENE

August 22, 2012

Google Analytics May Violate Norwegian Privacy Laws

The Norwegian Data Protection Authority is investigating the use of Google Analytics by The Norwegian Tax Administration and the State Educational Loan Fund, because collected data can potentially track users by storing their IP addresses.

The two government authorities are believed to have no control over how IP addresses are handled, enabling Google to use the data for other purposes than measuring traffic. Although Google claims that both its service and those that use it are not breaking Norwegian law, they offered to meet with the Norwegian Data Protection Authority to clarify the situation.

Both the Norwegian Tax Administration and the State Educational Loan Fund are investigating the privacy issue claimed by the Data Protection Authority by asking Google to release documentation to be presented to the inquiring authority.

Gathering IP addresses and using them to localize users violates Norway`s privacy laws, although Google claims webmasters are in control of what they send or allow Google to use. Preliminary findings by the Data Protection Authority seem to suggest that both agencies agreed to Google`s terms of service without fully investigating the implications.

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