Have you read Google’s new privacy policy?

Google logo with magnifying glass - ©iStockphoto.com/AlijaGoogle’s new privacy policy came into force at the beginning of this month, despite protests from the EU.  The chances are, that if you use any of Google’s services, you have accepted it.  Either you accepted it in advance by clicking on the button that appeared when you logged in, or you ignored it and have now silently accepted the new policy by continuing to use whatever services you may have accounts for.

But have you actually read it?

If you haven’t then you should because I think it is a good example of a clear and easy to understand policy.  Which makes you wonder what all the fuss is about. [Read more…]

Blogging in Germany: the final straw?

A man holding his head in despair - ©Can Stock Photo Inc. / alexandrenunesBloggers in Germany have only just recovered from not having to classify all of their posts.  Yet other Government officials are still finding ways to make our life difficult.

Last week, data protection officials in one part of Germany decided that using 3rd party advertising on a website constituted an unauthorised passing on of personal data, ie. the IP address.

In a similar issue to the use of Google Analytics, this would mean that unless you host all of your banner adverts on your own server or webspace, you would need permission to show them from your visitors.

Can you imagine visiting a site and being asked if you would like to see it with or without banner advertising?  What would you click on? [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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