Consent Mode V2
Consent Mode V2

Google • Google Consent Mode V2 • Google Ads • Cookie Banner

Consent Mode V2- Are Your Cookie Banners Compliant?

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, the importance of user privacy and consent has never been more paramount. With the introduction of Consent Mode V2, the stakes for website compliance have been significantly raised, marking a critical shift in how sites handle user data through cookies. This update explicitly mandates that websites must obtain user consent for any cookie-based activities, a move designed to strengthen user privacy and ensure a more transparent online environment.

What is Consent Mode V2

As of March 2024, Google will require all websites using Google services to comply with Google Consent Mode V2. First introduced in November last year, Consent Mode V2 is an update to the original Google Consent Mode, designed to allow websites to clearly communicate user choices for cookie consent to Google’s tracking tools, but also to make sure that website users have more control over how their data can be used.

Under V2, without the user’s explicit consent, their data cannot be used for Google features including personalised ad targeting. By the end of this year, this requirement for consent will also extend to all conversion tracking activities, so it’s important that website owners, developers and digital marketers understand how Consent Mode V2 will affect them.

Why Do I Need a Cookie Banner?

In order to use Consent Mode to use Google services, it is essential to have a compliant cookie banner in place to manage user consent. However, even with a cookie banner, compliance with V2 relies on the language of the cookie banner being in line with Google’s standards – there must be a clear choice between accepting and denying cookies.

To understand whether the cookie banners on your website are compliant, it’s important to understand the intricacies of Google Consent Mode V2. The key difference between V2 and the original Consent Mode are two new parameters introduced specifically to enhance user privacy:

 

  • ad_user_data: This controls whether a user’s data can be shared with Google for advertising purposes.
  • ad_personalization: This controls whether remarketing (personalised advertising) can be enabled.

 

These parameters provide users with more choice on how they share their data on Google services, including Google Ads, Google Play and Google Shopping. For example, a user could choose to consent for their data to be used for personalised ads, but decline to consent to their data being used for advertising purposes.

There are two different implementation options for the latest version of Consent Mode – basic and advanced. 

 

Basic Consent Mode

As you would expect, basic mode offers a simpler, less technical setup of Consent Mode, with more limited control over cookie data collection. When a user consents to cookies, the website collects full data and shares it with google services, whereas when a user declines cookies, no data is collected or shared with Google.

To implement a compliant cookie banner with basic consent under V2, website managers must set up a Consent Management Platform to manage all user consents and configure the website so that when cookies are rejected by a user, data is not collected or shared with Google.

 

Advanced Consent Mode

Advanced mode provides a more refined approach, allowing for some data collection even when cookies are declined by users. Even when users choose not to consent to cookies, Advanced consent mode allows anonymous cookieless pings to be sent to Google so that websites can recover some level of data for Google Ads and Google Analytics 4.

Implementing Advanced consent mode requires website managers to use a Consent Management Platform (cookie banner to manage consent), and the website must be configured so that GA4 cookies aren’t sent to Google services when consent is denied, with a consent flag passed to google instead, along with cookieless pings for data modelling.

Ensure Your Website is Compliant

In an era where digital privacy concerns are at an all-time high, understanding and implementing compliant cookie banners is not just about adhering to Google’s regulations; it’s also about fostering trust and respect with customers. Whether or not your website uses services such as Google Ads, implementing Google Consent Mode V2 and displaying a cookie banner is important for the peace of mind of customers using your website. 

To ensure that your site meets Google’s consent regulations, it’s always advisable to work with web development specialists who can ensure that Consent Mode V2 is effectively and compliantly implemented and that your cookie banners use the right language.

Over time, we can expect that regulations around digital privacy will become increasingly stricter in order to protect the data of businesses and individuals alike, so it always pays to ensure you are ahead of the game and prepared for any change of compliance regulations that could affect your business.

For help with Google’s Consent Mode V2 and to ensure your cookie banners are compliant and fit for purpose, call us today.

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