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Google, Hamburg Regulator Reach Accord Over Using Analytics Data

Google Inc. and the Hamburg privacy regulator reached an accord over the use of data by the search engine’s Analytics function in Europe.

Google will expand a deactivation add-on allowing users to object to data gathering for all browsers, regulator Johannes Caspar said in a statement on his website today. Website owners can ask Google not to store their complete IP-addresses within Europe. The Mountain View, California-based firm also agreed to enter into data-administration contracts with website owners as provided by German law, Caspar said.

“We are at the end of a long but constructive discussion process,” said Casper. “I explicitly welcome that Google has said it will implement the changes Europe-wide.”

Analytics is a tool offered by Google that counts and analyzes website traffic. German state privacy regulators have voiced concerns over the service and asked the Hamburg regulator to negotiate with Google, Casper said. Talks started in 2009.

Google disagrees with regulators who say its Analytics tool violates data-protection rules, the company said in a blog post. The search-engine company worked with German authorities on their concerns and implemented changes, Google said.

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