Key Take Aways

  • Google is strengthening the enforcement of its EU user consent policy, affecting ad personalization, measurement features, and data uploads. Advertisers must comply with the EU consent policy to utilize ad personalization.
  • To continue using measurement, ad personalization, and remarketing features, consent for personal data use must be obtained from end users in the EEA. Consent signals must be shared with Google when using Google Analytics data with a Google service.
  • For those planning to use consent mode for personalized advertising, Google-certified CMP users will receive automatic updates. Self-managed banner users should implement consent mode v2.
  • If you are not using consent mode, understand the importance of managing user consent. Set up a consent banner on the website, enabling consent mode if you are using a Google-certified partner. For custom banners, implement consent mode manually.

A month ago, Google introduced a new consent setting for users and owners to meet EU requirements. This launch targeted advertisers who collect data to personalize ads. Many were surprised by Google’s “verify consent settings” message. What does it mean for websites?

To understand the new change, we first need to investigate Google’s consent policy and why businesses must comply.

Imagine someone is standing, and you approach them to take their photo. If you do it without asking them, it’s a crime, but if you ask them beforehand, that’s what Consent Mode is.

Google becomes the middleman between your business and customers, asking them for their data so that you can personalize your approach. It’s all about being fair and respectful of users’ privacy while also protecting your business from legal troubles.

Google recommends ACM (Advanced Consent Mode) for businesses because it collects customer data without the need for consent to model conversions and visitor behaviour. This data is then used to paint a picture of your audience’s interactions with the website or app.

On the other hand, (Basic Consent Mode) BCM allows businesses to collect data only when users permit them to do so. This approach prioritizes user consent and ensures that data is only collected from users who have explicitly provided consent. While it may limit the amount of data initially collected, it aligns with privacy best practices and regulatory requirements.

What is the best policy for you to work with? Advertisers should prioritize implementing Basic Consent Mode to ensure compliance with data protection regulations and avoid potential legal and ethical risks associated with collecting data from unconsenting users.

Google is strengthening the enforcement of its EU User Consent Policy, which requires advertisers to obtain verifiable consent signals for serving personalized ads in the EEA and UK. This new update aims to streamline the process of confirming that consent signals are properly transmitted.

“To keep using measurement, ad personalization, and remarketing features, you must collect consent for use of personal data from end users based in the EEA and share consent signals with Google.”

Google

The updated Consent Mode introduces two new consent signals, ad_user_data and ad_personalization, for capturing consent related to ad personalization and remarketing purposes. Advertisers must implement these changes by the specified deadline to continue serving personalized and remarketed ads in the region.

Starting from early March 2024, if no action is taken, Google services like Google Ads, Play, Display & Video 360, etc., will only include end users outside the European Economic Area (EEA) in audiences derived from Analytics data.

Why It’s Important to Comply?

To begin with, the European Economic Area (EEA), comprising 30 countries, plus the United Kingdom, totalling 31 countries, offers a vast market to target. The European market presents immense business opportunities due to its size, purchasing power, and diverse consumer base.

Failing to comply with the new EEA policy effectively puts your business out of reach for potential customers within this lucrative market. By adhering to the policy and obtaining consent for data usage, you can tap into this expansive market, increase your reach, and potentially grow your business significantly.

If your Google Analytics property is connected to another Google service that needs consent to share data, you might receive a notification if it’s not getting the necessary approval from end users in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Review your Analytics properties to ensure compliance and verify if you send the required consent signals to Google. Notifications within your Analytics property will direct you to the necessary steps.

To check if your Analytics property is sending the required consent signals:

  • Go to Admin and click on “Data streams” under “Data collection and modification”.
  • Look for any data streams with an “Action required” label.
If none of your data streams have an "Action required" label, you're likely already sending the necessary signals or have few visitors from the EEA.

Click on a data stream with an “Action required” label next to it. Under “Consent settings”, check for:

  1. “Ads measurement consent signals not detected”
  2. “Ads personalization consent signals not detected”
  3. “Manage data use across Google services”

You must update your settings if any of these sections have an “Action required” label. Follow the instructions in Analytics to update your settings, or proceed to the next steps in the article. If more than one data stream has an “Action required” label, repeat the process for each one.

After you’ve updated your website or app to collect and send the required consent signals to Google, Analytics will detect them, and the notifications for that data stream will also update. Note that it may take up to 48 hours for the notifications to reflect the changes.

Final Words

Collecting data from unconsenting users poses legal, ethical, brand image, and data security risks, emphasizing the importance of obtaining user consent before data collection. Meaning you have to set up or upgrade your consent mode to align with Europe’s stringent regulations on data privacy and protection, ensuring compliance. No action is required if you already use consent mode without engaging in personalized advertising.

Key considerations include working with certified consent management platforms (CMPs), ensuring remarketing tags comply with new consent parameters, preparing alternative conversion tracking methods, and educating internal stakeholders.

Advertisers should take immediate action to adopt Consent Mode V2, engage with CMPs, update remarketing tags, develop alternative tracking methods, and inform internal stakeholders to minimize disruptions to advertising capabilities in the EEA.

Conclusion

If you are unsure about what steps to take next, don’t worry! Our team of experts is here to assist you. In our B2B growth marketing services, we leverage the power of Google Analytics extensively. Whether you need help setting up and configuring Google Analytics, analyzing data to make informed marketing decisions, or optimizing your campaigns for better results, our experts have you covered.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you unlock the full potential of Google Analytics in your B2B marketing strategy.

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