Google Fonts has made customizing fonts on the web so simple and easy that developers rarely think twice about including it on their websites.
Their CDN is lightning fast and there is no configuration on your end. Just change your CSS font-family and your website looks great.
But there is a hidden cost to your free web fonts. Privacy.
Google’s free services always come at some cost. In this case they can follow users across the internet on most websites.
Anyone websites serving content to European visitors needs to be cognizant of GDPR and tracking personally identifying information. Google Fonts served from its convenient CDN is non-compliant.
The company I work for at the time of this writing is GDPR compliant. And we have recently pushed to remove all requests to the Google Fonts CDN.
Thankfully you don’t have to stop using Google Fonts.
Google allows you to download their web fonts. You can self-host any font with minimal effort and skip the IP tracking.
By self-hosting fonts you can make yourself GDPR compliant.