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The TLDR law and Google Analytics in Austria

Tired of long terms of service that no one understands?  It seems Congress is, too, as a new bill has been introduced to force a simplification of service agreements.  Called the Terms of Service Labeling, Design and Readability Act (and yes, that’s TLDR for short), it would require websites to provide a summary statement before opting in to a terms of service.   

In Austria, the data protection watchdog group has upheld a complaint against a website under GDPR because of the use of Google Analytics.    An IP address anonymization function had not been adequately implemented. In the review, the regulator found that IP address data was personal data due to the ability to combine it with other data to identify the user.     Thus, user data was being exported to the US and violated GDPR.  

Why do we care?

The Europeans continue to lead here… but it’s not hard to see how these will impact American companies too.   If Google Analytics sees significant changes due to European laws, that will matter to even the smallest companies.

The other theme of any of this legislation continues to focus on the consumer, even in the US.    Providers should be pretty enthusiastic about the idea of the TLDR law. However, there is a downside here, as I would expect these agreements to get more end-user scrutiny when they are more apparent, and providers will need to be ready for that.