Why there might be less Facebook “Like” buttons in Germany tomorrow

Brandenburg Gate - ©iStockphoto.com/archivesGermany seems to have a problem with new technologies, especially when it comes to privacy and data protection laws, as I’ve commented on before.  I’ve often heard the regulation of the internet here referred to as “out-dated” and sometimes even compared with internet restrictions in China.

As if the situation wasn’t complicated enough, each of the 16 German states has its own Data Protection law and agency, in additional to the national law and Data Protection Officer.  Theoretically, the law can therefore differ from state to state, or at least be interpreted differently.

Which explains why businesses in one part of Germany have had to decide whether to remove their Facebook “Like” button (called “Gefällt mir” in German) from their websites and close their Facebook fan pages.

What is unusual is that [Read more…]

Blogging in Germany: Google Analytics and IP addresses

Bloggers in Germany generally have a hard time with all the regulations.  Over the next few days, I’m going to explain some of them and what they mean for us.

A graph - ©Can Stock Photo Inc. / pashaboAnyone in the blogging business will probably tell you that statistics are an important part of running a blog.  Not to the extent that you are checking them every hour, you understand.  But at the very least you need some decent figures on how many visitors you receive each month and how often each of them visits the site.

Getting more advanced, it is also good to know which posts were read the most, how the site was found, eg. in a search engine, and just generally trends that show whether the traffic to the site is going up or down.

Most providers in Germany offer this kind of service when you rent your webspace or server, but the quality of the statistics differs widely.

Anywhere else in the World, you would probably say “so what?” and install Google Analytics, a tool that offers you statistics about almost everything happening on your website.

But not in Germany.  At least, not unless you want to take a risk. [Read more…]

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