Selim Koc

Jail risk in Germany for using Google Fonts

Marketing, Software Development

Yes, you read it right, but also yes it’s a bit extreme explanation of the situation.

You know E.U. is already pushing limits for privacy policies (GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation])  on the Internet to protect the privacy of their citizens. Last year a local court in Munich, Germany gave a 100 euro fine to a website owner giving visitors’ IP addresses to Google by using Google Hosted Fonts.

Furthermore, if the website owner continues using Google Fonts, s/he is warned to have a 250,000 euro or 6 months jail fine.

Are you giving your users’ IPs to 3rd parties?

Actually, some of the owners even don’t know if they are using Google Fonts or not, or whether they are using files hosted by 3rd parties on their website or not. When you install a theme or a plugin on the WordPress platform, the developer may prefer to use hosted files in third-party websites by Google or other CDN providers instead of using locally hosted files.

What to do?

It’s your obligation to check this situation with your developers for not causing privacy issues especially if you are established business in Europe.

Further Consequences

Actually, many sites use CDN services and third-party scripts on their website. For example

  • CDN hosted versions of common javascript or CSS libraries such as jQuery, React, Font-awesome, Bootstrap etc. There are some services just built for this purpose such as cdnjs, jsdelivr, unpkg etc
  • Third-party analytics services, e.g. Google Analytics, Yandex Metrica
  • Third-party CRM, Newsletter management, SaaS services
  • Ads platforms’ tracking & marketing scripts like conversion tracking for Google Ads, Meta Pixel for Facebook & Instagram ads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Web & App Reviews
Software Development