Sunday 24th June 2018

Google backpedals on restrictive approach to acquiring user consent under the GDPR

The search giant has reversed its policy on limiting the number of vendors publishers can work with under its consent management platform.
Jason Smith
by on 12th June 2018
Google AdSense

Google has backpedaled on its approach to limiting the number of vendors publishers using its consent management platform (CMP) can work with to 12, according to a statement from an official Google spokesperson on Friday.

The limitation imposed by Google was apparently influenced by internal user testing that suggested it struck the best balance between user experience and regulatory compliance.

Following Google’s initial decision, news publishers sent an open letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai outlining their concerns, and trade bodies representing some of the world’s largest news organizations met with Google executives a few days before the GDPR came into force.

Google’s consent management platform is called funding choices. It’s currently in beta mode and only available to organizations with a dedicated Google account manager. The platform was initially utilized for ad blocking, however it will now also be utilized to ask users for explicit opt-in consent to display personalized advertisements.

Outlining Google’s new stance on the issue, a Google spokesperson stated on Friday, “Based on industry and customer feedback, we have decided to remove the 12-vendor limit for publishers that use Funding Choices to obtain user consent on their website. Moving forward, publishers can choose however many vendors they want to list.”

According to Google, “Funding Choices for user consent requires the use of DoubleClick for Publishers or AdSense.” AdSense is Google’s ad network while DFP allows publishers to manage the entire inventory on their website from a single dashboard.

Part of the concern for publishers is the GDPR requires they obtain affirmative consent. Organizations found to be in violation of the regulation can be faced with fines of up to 20 million EUR or 4 percent of revenue (whichever is higher).

Google is also yet to sign up to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s consent framework, which helps distribute user consent across the advertising supply chain.

While the search giant intends to sign-up to the framework, it’s still currently reviewing its policies.