Does Google Analytics require GDPR consent?

Yes, you need to obtain cookie consent while using Google Analytics. GDPR and ePrivacy Directive states that websites need to obtain explicit consent from users before setting cookies and only strictly necessary cookies are exempt from cookie consent. Google Analytics sets cookies like the _ga and _gid cookies that are used to distinguish individual users on a domain and these cannot be classified as necessary cookies.

However, consent requirements for analytics cookies may differ depending on the guidelines set by the Data Protection Authority (DPA) of the EU member state. For instance, according to the guidelines set by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), analytics cookies are not strictly necessary and require consent. While Germany only requires explicit consent for analytics if the data is transferred to third parties.

If you use Google Analytics, it is important to note that DPAs in the EU including the Austrian DPA, CNIL (France) and Italy’s Garante have ruled that Google Analytics violates GDPR. It is therefore imperative that your use of Google Analytics is compliant with GDPR, to avoid any regulatory scrutiny.