Exactly how Google Consent Mode works and which services are currently supported by it
Google Consent Mode: everything you need to know in 5 minutes
Table of contents
At a glance
With Google’s newest feature “Google Consent Mode”, website operators are now able to adjust the behavior of their Google tags and scripts based on the consent status of their users. You want to know how it’s all done? Read below and figure it out in just a few minutes.
The Usercentrics CMP supports Google Consent Mode.
Why a Consent Management Platform is required for full GDPR-compliance
Google Consent Mode does not replace a Consent Management Platform (CMP).
This is because obtaining user consent remains the responsibility of the website operator. The use of Google Consent Mode requires that each and every website has an implemented and fully functioning CMP software that ensures user consent is retrieved in a granular manner for each technology.
The CMP then transmits the consent status to Google via Google Consent Mode where the data is processed further. All in accordance with the user’s privacy preferences.
Personal data is not sent to Google during this process, solely the information regarding the consent choice of each website user (e.g. the use of particular marketing tools).
For example: If the website user decides to reject the use of certain marketing technologies, Google Consent Mode will react based on this consent status and will in this case, only display purely context-based advertising on a website without using any personal data.
Google Consent Mode therefore serves as a link between the CMP and Google. Through its function as an interface, it enables Google services to run on websites based on the type of consent gathered from website users.
IMPORTANT TO KNOW
IMPORTANT TO KNOW
Google Consent Mode has been created especially for website operators who do not obtain user consent within the scope of the IAB Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) with their Consent Management Platforms (CMP).
Why do I even need consent for the processing of personal data?
You can learn all about how to gather consent in our article “7 Criteria for GDPR-compliant consent”.
Is anonymous tracking via Google Analytics actually GDPR-compliant, even without consent?
If the user does not provide consent to tracking via Google Analytics (“analytics_storage: denied), all data will be anonymized (according to Google). What this means is that it will be captured without a client ID and recorded in aggregated form.
On top of this, if the placement or the reading out of advertising cookies is prevented (“ad_storage: denied”), the main processing purposes for which user consent is classically obtained for, will no longer react.
Can these technologies be used without user consent? Opinions differ:
According to the Orientation Help for Providers of Telemedia from the DSK, reach measurement can indeed represent legitimate interest for the website operator. In any case, it is always necessary to weigh up interests first (website operator vs user). If no personal data is forwarded to third parties (e.g. Google), and the data is not to be used for the third parties’ own purposes, legitimate interest might be claimed.
However, since the IP address is transmitted during most interactions with website visitors which, according to the Federal Supreme Court, is considered personal data, a fully anonymous interaction is not possible in most cases.
⇨ So if a website provider does not think that collecting consent is necessary, they must ensure from a technology perspective, that an anonymous interaction is possible in 100% of each and every website interaction. Website providers must also rule out the forwarding of personal data to servers in the USA. “Third country” being the key term here (Schrems II) – otherwise consent will always need to be collected.
The love affair between data protection and marketing – with explicitly given consent
Advertisers can continue to measure conversions and retrieve analysis insights with Google’s new feature – and all in compliance with GDPR-as long as the consent from website users has been gathered. With Google Consent Mode, Google bridges the protection of the user’s data with the interests of the advertising industry – creating the perfect marriage between marketing and privacy.
Data-driven business models will remain strong – using explicit permission and not at the expense of anyone’s privacy.
Key to keep in mind: The higher the opt-in rate is, the more data will be available to you for marketing purposes. Simply put, this means higher advertising revenues.
Would you like to learn how to successfully increase your opt-in rate with the Usercentrics CMP? Download our free white paper which is all about “Opt-in Optimization”.
Usercentrics supports Google Consent Mode
With Consent Mode Google has provided a solution for advertisers to adjust the behaviour of Google tags on their website based on the user consent status.
By pairing the Consent Mode API with the Usercentrics Consent Management Platform (CMP) advertisers can indicate if the user has given consent for cookie usage related to ads and/or advertising. The supported Google tags will respect this signal and adjust their behaviour accordingly only utilizing cookies if consent was granted for the specific purposes.
The following Google services currently support the Consent Mode:
✔ Google Analytics
✔ Google Ads (Google Ads Conversion Tracking and Remarketing)
✔ Conversion Linker
Additional information can be found here:
Implementing the Consent Mode with the Usercentrics CMP solution as alternative to prior blocking requires just two steps:
- Step 1: Add some lines of code above your existing global site tag or Google Tag Manager container.
- Step 2: Use the Usercentrics CMP events to signal the consent status via the Consent Mode API.
Any questions? We are here to help!
These statements do not constitute legal advice. If you have any legal questions, you should consult a specialist lawyer.