When it comes to analytics, data, and information online, you can trust Google, right? Well, they are the premier search engine, and they have a lot of elements that help web developers continue to work with a variety of different pieces of information. In regards to their analytics element, you’re going to find that if you have a website, you will want to connect with this. Before August 29, 2016, however, the company did not adopt certain parameters to keep personal data safe. At least not in the protocol that they are now using. That doesn’t mean that your information was open, but rather it wasn’t certified within adherence to certain framework.
Privacy Shield Adoption Announced
On August 29, 2016, Google announced that they are going to be certified with adherence to what is known as the EU-US Privacy Shield framework. This comes as a new element that you can now see for yourself online. When you look to see whether or not the site has a certificate in this privacy framework, you can see whether it is live or not. For the most part, people that have already been using Google Analytics over the years, data has been kept private. However, this change is significant, in that Google joins a lot of other websites with this element.
What Is Privacy Shield?
The new framework that the internet giant is moving with for analytics is in relationship to international data exchanges. Simply put, the European and United States data changes for personal information. So if you have personal data that is transferring between two servers that are internationally based, it will now be protected within this framework. Privacy Shield has a set of principles in regards to safeguarding the transfer of data.
Simplifying the Privacy Shield program can be a bit difficult. However, it can be easily understood as a framework that has been designed by the U.S. Department of Commerce in conjunction with the European Commission. These two governing bodies have outlined requirements for websites to send information from one area to another. Of course, this means geographically, the United States and the European Union overall. The Privacy Shield solution has several requirements that are in place in order to have their privacy shield certification.
One of the biggest things that you should realize about this change, is that there are some key elements that companies have to put in place before they can even apply to be part of this framework. Privacy Shield participants have to put up privacy policies in declaration to their overall partnership with this shield. They also have to create streamlined access to disclose information about what data is being transferred, how it is being used, and other elements that are made available to the general public through privacy policies on any given page. All of this is given to a more transparent use of data, and transfer. Upon reading the requirements, you’ll find that there are several bullet points that companies have to work with if they are going to see any sort of traction in regards to the safety of information that is being transferred across servers.
What Should You Do?
If you are currently using Google Analytics for your website, you do not have to do anything. That includes those that are using Google’s Blogger services which use Analytics as a standard on their pages. If you’re using anything related to analytics, even the premier suite that has been updated in the past year, you do not have to do anything. This change is being done automatically by Google. In fact, you will not even denote much of a difference in the platform, and everything will be moving forward without any down time or changes to the existing framework. However, you should know that they are changing their standards, which is something to consider overall.
The Good About Self-Certification
The biggest pro that you’re going to find about this solution is that it uses self-certification. That means that Google and other companies don’t have to apply and wait for approval to join this element. They need to comply, then send messages to the larger Privacy Shield server element, and that’s it. Once on board, a check of this can be done and that’s it. It’s easy. Because of the ease of this solution, many people may feel skeptical about whether or not it actually is in fact a positive. It is. Companies like Cisco, for instance, have also adopted this solution as a way to ensure that privacy principles are followed online, and through the exchange of data across Europe and The United States.
Is There Any Bad?
At present, there aren’t a lot of people criticizing the notion of privacy protection. In fact, many are applauding this option. Privacy Shield definitely helps people not only have safe harbor, but it unifies a lot of sites that use data rich elements to send personal information across servers. Even with cloud technology, localized hosting, and more, privacy complaisance can be difficult to manage. However, with so many people adopting this new Privacy Shield element, it’s easy to see why there may not be anything bad to really consider overall.
If there is a downside, it would be in regards to monitoring whether or not a company’s website is in fact in compliance with the privacy principles that are set out by the Privacy Shield agreements. Other than that, there is no real downside to wanting to protect user’s privacy, information, and more.
Onward To Safety
At the end of the day, this change over is about security, and peace of mind. When businesses are able to safeguard privacy information, sensitive data doesn’t get into the wrong hands. A unified front of protection across the United States and Europe is good, especially when it comes to securing digital economic websites. From ecommerce to marketing channels, sensitive data transmission should in fact have extra layers of protection, and this change that Google’s doing, is only adding to that, which is a great thing.
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