the signatories of this letter represent Europe’s leading, most innovative, dynamic and forward-thinking Web Analytics companies.
From conception, our products have been designed to take into consideration privacy and data protection aspects. Despite a strict EU legal framework, we have managed to successfully compete with companies based in the US and other jurisdictions that operate under much lighter privacy regimes, and we are proud to count Europe’s leading websites and governments amongst our clients.
We deeply appreciate the strong commitment you and your fellow MEPs have shown to support a Digital Agenda for Europe and Europe’s digital industries. As you are stepping up your election campaign a strong online presence and social networking campaign will help you reach your goals. The key tool for measuring the success of your online campaign and adjust it is Web Analytics - we hope your commitment to Europe’s Digital Agenda also extends to the use of European products.
However, we find it very surprising and disconcerting that various European institutions use Google Analytics (we provide more details in the attached Annex). Google has been investigated by European Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) and found to be repeatedly in breach of European Data Protection laws including in respect of its privacy terms and conditions in relation to web analytics.
Despite all this and the unanswered question of how Google uses Google Analytics data (including sensitive personal data relating to political views) it continues to be widely used by European institutions.
We have major difficulties understanding why the institutions are not using European products (proprietary or open source alike) which are compliant with European regulations. The following list of the various European web analytics products demonstrates the large choice you and European institutions have:
Webtrekk, Gemius, AT Internet, Etracker, Econda, Wired Minds, Mindlab, Odoscope, Piwik (open source solution).
As companies that are headquartered in Europe and employ highly skilled staff in Europe, sharing the EU’s goal to foster Europe’s digital ecosystem, we sincerely hope you will lead by example and opt for a European web analytics tool.
We remain at your disposal if you have any questions or comments.
Christian Sauer, CEO Webtrekk
Piotr Ejdys, President Gemius
Ralph Hünermann, CEO Odoscope