Viewing Google Fonts in Everweb for Germany - urgent clarification needed due to wave of data protection lawsuits

Google Fonts in Everweb for Germany - urgent clarification needed due to wave of data protection lawsuits

User: Dirk V. 3 months ago
Hello to you all,

In January of this year, a German court (Munich County Court's third civil chamber) fined an unidentified website €100 ($110, £84) for violating EU privacy law by importing a Google-hosted web font. The decision found that the website, by including Google-Fonts on its pages, passed the unidentified plaintiff's IP address to Google without authorization and without a legitimate reason for doing so - and that violates Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

That is to say, when the plaintiff visited the website, the page made the user's browser fetch a font from Google Fonts to use for some text, and this disclosed the EU citizen's IP address to the US internet giant. While this kind of hot-linking is normal with Google Fonts, the issue here, according to the court, is that the visitor didn't give permission for their IP address to be shared.

For about six months, nothing really happened, but beginning in late July / early August a wave of protection violation lawsuits hit website owners (both companies and private) in Germany and Austria. Suffice it to say that 99% of these letters come from rather shady lawfirms, specialized in the financial exploitation of legal grey areas such as this. However, since they all refer to the Munich court decision's wording, for website owners it is necessary to react with immediate action.

"The unauthorized disclosure of the plaintiff's dynamic IP address by the defendant to Google constitutes a violation of the general right of personality in the form of the right to informational self-determination according to § 823 Para. 1 German Civil Code," the ruling stated, as algorithmically translated. "The right to informational self-determination includes the right of the individual to disclose and determine the use of their personal data."

Sorry for this long prefix . My actual question is very simple: how are fonts handled on Everweb-created websites? Are they self-hosted, maybe even by default, or is it necessary to do something in the settings to make it so? One alternative might be to change host company to a country outside Germany...

Second question: on a website created with Everweb, how can I GET RID of previously embedded Google fonts?

I would therefore appreciate if Everweb's creators and programmers could let us know - with transparent and comprehensible wording - what the situation is, so that it clarifies the situation once and for all.

Thank you very much indeed!!!

Last edit 3 months ago
User: EverWeb Support 3 months ago
Hi Dirk,

By default, Google fonts are taken from Google's server, as is jQuery if needed.
If you want to change this go to File->Edit Publishing Settings. Scroll down and you will see two options:

- Automatically Include Google fonts
- Use local copy of jQuery

You should uncheck the first option and check the second option.
And republish your site to upload made changes.

Then you have to include your Google fonts like a third party font;

Please let us know if we can help you with anything else.

EverWeb Customer Support
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User: Dirk V. 3 months ago
Thank you very much for the response. Unfortunately, this did not help.
But I sort of stumbled upon the solution.

I tested removing the "Captcha" option from the email module. And voilá - no more warnings. THAT module was the culprit for the "Roboto" font coming up and connecting with Google's servers, no matter what the interacting client was doing on my website.

Thank you and maybe you could see to make this public to other users (especially from Germany) who have the same problem.

Last edit 3 months ago

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