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Google Consent Mode v2: Major March 2024 Deadline Approaching for EEA

Starting March 2024, all websites using Google Advertising Products must switch to Google Consent Mode version 2. Wondering what this means for you?

Google Consent Mode v2: Major March 2024 Deadline Approaching for EEA
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Starting March 2024, all websites using Google Advertising Products must switch to Google Consent Mode version 2. Wondering what this means for you? Keep reading for a breakdown!

What is Consent Mode?

Consent Mode is a tool created by Google to comply with data protection and privacy regulations while still capturing as much information about the user as possible based on their consent preferences.

Consent Mode works by letting Google know if a specific cookie has been ‘granted’ access to load or not. There are a variety of cookies that they count for, but that’s the gist of it.

Google then calculates it into a % form and models their numbers accordingly, trying to fill the gaps. Google has an article on it here if you’d like to read more details yourself.

Before November 2023, the following consent types could be sent to Google.

  • Ad_storage: Enables storage related to advertising.
  • Analytics_storage: Enables storage related to analytics
  • Functionality_storage: Enables storage that supports the functionality
  • Personalization_storage: Enables storage related to personalization
  • security_storage: Enables storage related to security, such as authentication functionality, fraud prevention, and other user protection.

The Digital Markets Act (DMA), also known as Regulation 2022/1925, received approval in September 2023 and is set to be enforced in March 2024.

What is Consent Mode 2.0? 

Consent Mode 2.0 is the latest version of Google's privacy-centric feature designed to empower users and advertisers to navigate the landscape of digital consent. With privacy concerns taking center stage in online advertising, Consent Mode 2.0 is a pivotal tool, offering more granular control over how data is collected and utilized. 

This updated version promises enhanced flexibility and transparency, allowing users to exercise greater control over their data preferences while enabling advertisers to continue delivering personalized experiences within the boundaries of user consent.

The impact of Consent Mode 2.0 is significant, extending its influence to a broad spectrum of stakeholders within the digital advertising ecosystem. From advertisers striving to uphold user privacy while maintaining effective targeting strategies to publishers seeking to comply with evolving regulations, Consent Mode 2.0 shapes the future of online advertising practices. 

Moreover, with deadlines looming, businesses must quickly adapt to ensure compliance in their advertising efforts. The transition to Consent Mode 2.0 represents a legal obligation and an opportunity for brands to reinforce trust and transparency in their consumer relationships, ultimately creating a more sustainable and respectful digital advertising environment.

Consent Mode got an upgrade in November 2023 with two additional values of consent:

  • ad_user_data: Sets consent for sending user data to Google
  • ad_personalization: Sets consent for personalized advertising

Google has required that any website that sends data to Google must adhere to the EU's consent laws, which apply to all advertisers in the EEA.

This also means that Google is now requiring all EEA advertisers to comply.

How do I implement Consent Mode 2.0?

The first step in implementing Consent Mode is ensuring that you have a consent banner placed on your website. If you do not have such a banner set up already, we recommend opting for a Google-certified partner, as that eases the implementation process. 

If you do have a consent banner but not with a certified partner, you might not have an easy time installing consent mode, depending on your situation and tagging method. 

(Note: If you are a Finch customer using Google Tag Manager, we can assist you with this! Please reach out to your usual Finch representative or email support@finch.com.)

The detailed version can be found on the Google developer's site here.

Please note that you will only receive benefits (other than not being suspended) if your Google Tag Manager fires, regardless of the consent.

How to check for implementation with or without Google Tag Manager

There are multiple methods.

  1. In GTM select preview and load your site. The tag assistant has a tab called “consent.”  If you see this filled in, you've got some form of consent mode enabled.
  2. Under every GA hit, there’s a query string called gcd. The value of this parameter defines your consent settings. Google Development expert Simo Ahava has been so kind in finding the values for us - check this out.

You can find the gcp value by opening developer options in your browser ->  loading your page -> go to network -> search for “g-” -> find a tag that contains G-xxxx and click it -> in the payload you should be able to find the query neatly listed.

What happens if I don’t implement Consent Mode 2.0 by March 2024? 

If you are in the EEA, Google will most likely suspend your account.

Fortunately, implementing Google Consent Mode is a relatively easy setup issue, so it should not be difficult for everyone in the EU. 

Do not miss this important March 2024 deadline. If you’re still unsure of what to do to comply with Consent Mode 2.0, don’t hesitate to contact your Finch representative for assistance or email us at support@finch.com. 

Mathias Johannes Dam Falkenberg

Mathias is Head of Performance at Finch and brings 10+ years of eCommerce expertise.

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