Google ruffles German feathers

Google is upsetting countries once again.

This time it’s over in Germany, where data protection authorities have broken off talks with the company over its Google Analytics tool.

And it’s not just Google which is in trouble, with the authorities warning that German companies using the tool, which gathers data about how visitors interact with a website by tracking their IP addresses, could face legal action and fines.

This is because the authorities reckon that collecting  this data could violate an individual’s privacy.

According to the WSJ ,Johannes Caspar, commissioner for data protection in Hamburg, Germany, said he had been in talks with Google about the tools since November 2009.  
He wants Google to make IP addresses anonymous and give users an option of opting out of the service.

Google did its usual denial thing, claiming that it was not aware that discussions with the German officials had ended.

It said it was working to satisfy them and repeated that its Google Analytics tool complied with data protection laws.

The fall out between the two is just another example of Google rocking the German boat. In September it was hauled up in front of German officials over it’s Street View service and forced to give German users an opt out service here.