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Google Consent Mode

Google Consent Mode and GDPR compliance

What is Google Consent Mode?

Google Consent Mode arises from the need to obtain user consent without losing the measurement of your website.

Google Consent Mode indicates, to Google tags (Google Tag Manager), the cookies that have been accepted or denied and, in this way, the GTM will adapt and cookies will only be used for the purposes that the user has specified in their consent.

This new functionality allows you to track conversions even if cookies have not been accepted; since, if the user rejects measurement cookies or advertising cookies, their data will be anonymized (but conversions will be measured).

What is consent under GDPR?

Data protection regulations establish that, for the processing of personal data to be lawful, the data must be processed with the consent of the interested party (which Google Consent Mode allows us to obtain) or on some other legitimate basis of the aforementioned in Article 6 of the GDPR (for example: the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party; compliance with a legal obligation applicable to the controller; legitimate interest or protecting vital interests of the data subject or another natural person).

If you want to delve deeper into this issue, we recommend that you read the article that we dedicate exclusively to the legitimizing basis for the processing of personal data, here we leave you the link.

Continuing with the GDPR, article 7 establishes the conditions for consent and it should be noted that the data controller (that is you, as the owner of the website) must be able to demonstrate that the user consented and the interested party will have the right to withdraw their consent at any time.

If the consent of the interested party must be given following a request by electronic means (as is the case with your website), the request must be clear, concise and not unnecessarily disrupt the use of the service for which it is provided. For cookies, a simple and quick option is by including a banner with tabs that the user must scroll to accept or reject the use of each type of cookies. In any case, consent will be valid as long as it involves a positive action by the user; mere inaction is not a valid method of consent.

Is Google Consent Mode GDPR compliant?

Cookies must comply with data protection and online navigation regulations; for this reason, you must inform your users of the type of cookies you use (by incorporating the corresponding legal text on your
website) and you must give them the option to accept or reject the installation of each type of cookies.

Before installing cookies in the user’s browser, it is necessary to have their explicit consent; since violating the conditions for consent is considered a very serious infraction (art. 72.c of the LOPDGDD) and may result in fines of up to 20 million euros or 4% of the annual billing volume (whichever amount is greater).

Google’s consent mode allows users’ consent to be scrupulously respected and, at the same time, offers alternative measurement methods; as long as the user’s express consent is available.

Do you need Google Consent Mode on your website?

You have to implement Google Consent Mode on your website if:

  • You respect the consent of your users and, specifically, regarding the use of cookies.
  • You create display and remarketing campaigns with Google Ads.
  • You analyze your figures with Google Analytics.

What types of Google Consent Mode are there?

The consent mode can be:

  • Essential: Google tags are loaded when users interact with a consent banner.

If users do not give their consent, no data is transmitted to Google; not even the consent status (activation of the GTM is completely blocked).

  • Advanced: Google tags are loaded when users open the web page.

If the user denies consent, data about the consent status and cookieless pings are sent to Google. On the contrary, when the user gives consent, the cookies are written and all measurement data is sent.

Remember: with Google Consent Mode properly configured, you will ensure that you do not violate the consent of the users of your website and you will be able to continue using the display and remarketing campaigns of Google Ads and Google Analytics.

Author: Sandra Santiago, Lawyer.

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