We sometimes get asked by customers and prospects about Google Analytics and their ability to use it in a HIPAA compliant manner.
We know the HIPAA industry is vast so we can empathize with just how many people need to use cloud services in this sector.
In previous posts, we’ve covered the following cloud solutions and their capabilities for HIPAA compliance:
- Amazon Alexa
- Amazon CloudFront
- Apple iCloud
- Apple iMessage
- Citrix ShareFile
- Constant Contact
- Google Calendar
- Google Docs
- Google Drive
- Google Forms
- Google Hangouts
- Google Hangouts Chat
- Google Slides
- Google Voice
- Microsoft Teams
- Office 365
- Return Path
- Uber Health
Today, we will determine if Google Analytics offers HIPAA compliant service or not.
SEE ALSO: HIPAA Breaches and Cloud Providers
Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google Analytics is the most widely used web analytics service on the internet.
Google and the Business Associate Agreement
We’ve previously talked about how a Business Associate Agreement is a written contract between a Covered Entity and a Business Associate. It is required by law for HIPAA compliance.
We checked Google’s site and found a G Suite Administrator Help article called HIPAA Compliance with G Suite.
In the article, Google points out that the following services are covered by their BAA:
- Gmail (for business)
- Google Calendar
- Google Drive (including Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms)
- Google Hangouts (chat messaging feature only)
- Hangouts Chat
- Hangouts Meet
- Google Keep
- Google Cloud Search
- Google Sites
- Google Groups
- Google Tasks
- Google Vault services
- Google Cloud Identity Management
Since Google Analytics was not mentioned in the list, we kept looking.
We eventually found what we were looking for in Google Analytics Help.
Unless otherwise specified in writing by Google, Google does not intend uses of Google Analytics to create obligations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, as amended, (“HIPAA”), and makes no representations that Google Analytics satisfies HIPAA requirements. If you are (or become) a Covered Entity or Business Associate under HIPAA, you may not use Google Analytics for any purpose or in any manner involving Protected Health Information unless you have received prior written consent to such use from Google.
Does Google Analytics Offer HIPAA Compliant Service?
The Business Associate Agreement is a key component to HIPAA compliance between a covered entity and a business associate.
Since Google explicitly states that it does not cover Google Analytics under HIPAA, we conclude that Google Analytics is not a HIPAA compliant service.
Conclusion: Google Analytics is not HIPAA compliant.