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Posts Tagged ‘espionage’

Here is another EU Website ECHA.europe.eu, the European Chemicals Agency. They were smart enough to copy/paste a standard text as if they were a private company and not a public authority:

Site usage information

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer, to help the web team analyse how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States.

Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser, however please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

Cookies do not contain any personal information about you and cannot be used to identify an individual user.

I wonder how a public authority can make a company use the traffic information of its visitors for commercial analysis purposes. So in other words, a European Union body allows a company from a third nation to record traffic data, to spy on the use of its government websites and hand it out to third nation authorities. That does qualify as a kind of assistance of espionage by the responsible Executive Director Geert Dancet for the European Chemicals Agency. “By using” an European Unions website, citizens consent to the processing of data about them by Google. And if citizens explicitly disagree with the use of their traffic information they “may not be able to use the full functionality of this [EU] website”.

Keep in mind that the European Chemicals Agency deals with very sensitive issues such as REACH which were subject to confrontation in transatlantic trade talks: The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) manages the technical, scientific and administrative aspects of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) system. ECHA is sited in Helsinki, Finland.

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