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What does EU GDPR means for Adsense?

Question about GDPR and Adsense.

     
5:38 pm on Mar 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Question: What does EU GDPR means for Adsense?

Most of the Adsense income is from interest based ads. Will this be affected by the EU GDPR?
I'm concerned because today with the latest update for my Android Phone, I got asked for permission related to interest based ads. (Maybe it is because I did disable it before. This is to see the normal ads on my pages with Adsense. But I'm still concerned.)
8:25 pm on May 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

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They can come get me if they want. I'm not bowing down to the EU.
8:34 pm on May 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Mumsnet don't seem to have done a great deal - and they seem to have more cookies than anyone...
8:39 pm on May 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

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They can come get me if they want. I'm not bowing down to the EU.

As has been said before - it isn't the EU you need to worry about. They will only be going after the big fish for the next few years. However, if Adsense publishers get Google into hot water how long do you think your account will last?
12:45 am on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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if Adsense publishers get Google into hot water how long do you think your account will last?


How can we get Adsense into trouble when they've passed all the legal responsibility for consent and storage onto us? They can say they told us to become compliant. From that point it is up to us. If we do not comply, then it is up to the EU to come get us.
2:21 am on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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They can say they told us to become compliant.

Yes but they may be forced to block non-compliant accounts. But all this is very speculative. It is very unlikely that Google will simply block accounts without prior warning. If and when a warning come I'll take action, in the mean time I'll sit on my... and wait.
3:21 am on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Nick, if your read close it says they also "may" "limit" an account. I believe if your account makes the bulk of the money from non-EU countries, they may limit ad serving to EU countries or only serve non-personalized ads to EU countries.
3:29 am on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If things got gnarly, I'd appreciate an option in the Adsense UI to just not serve ads to people in the EU. If they can give us the option for personalized/non-personalized, surely they could give us that.

Although at that point I'd be really keen to just block EU visitors outright.
4:00 am on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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About 1% of my traffic is from the EU.. if adsense would give me the option to not show any ads to them.. it would be great.. otherwise i will likely just block all EU traffic
5:02 am on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I know that maybe this is a little of topic, or it could also be related to GDPR, are there any amazon associates that can't get their sales reports in the USA stats interface for the last 24 hours, just wondering if Amazon is having problems with either compliance or just technical issues anyone?

Also, on the adsense topic, I do use a plugin called 'Ad inserter Pro' which has options for displaying Geo code, so those people who want to block ad code for EU visitors it is really simple and does not require much coding experience, I tend to use Javascript or PHP hard coding with a free service from freegeoip.
9:58 am on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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That geo targeting feature in Ad Inserter plugin will be tracking IPs to work, right?

Also, the USA Today is showing a different version (without ads etc) of site to EU users, that means they are tracking IPs.
10:02 am on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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But all this is very speculative.


A lot of that on this thread. Scaring people, assuming and speculating.
10:15 am on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@QuaterPan you mentioned you've had some success simply not showing ads to EU users - how did you go about doing this? I only have about 20% visitors from the EU so this could be a good option for me.

In PHP, I am using the MaxMind GeoIP free API/Database - [maxmind.github.io...]

It is a little strange Google haven't provided a copy n paste solution to GDPR given the low technical barriers to using Adsense.

Google could have done plenty of things, if they wanted. They had the time (6 years, since the GDPR was decided, and 2 years, since the definitive text was voted), and lot of engineers with high skill. The existing adsense code, could perfectly open a consent box if they want.

How can we get Adsense into trouble when they've passed all the legal responsibility for consent and storage onto us? They can say they told us to become compliant. From that point it is up to us. If we do not comply, then it is up to the EU to come get us.

Terms of service of Adsense is one thing, but it doesn't matter. The EU has the final word, and the EU said:
In practice, this means that per the principle of shared responsibility set out by European legislation, both website publishers and third-party companies may be held liable for the data collection by a cookie set before the user has given consent.
[cnil.fr...]


That geo targeting feature in Ad Inserter plugin will be tracking IPs to work, right?

This is not tracking. Tracking is when you use the IP address of someone to follow him, and record browsing history, or actions. If you resolve an IP address to its geographical localization, it has nothing to do with tracking.
12:40 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The more I read comments on here, the more I realize that this GDPR thing is going to go nowhere. To take action, first of all the GDPR would have to receive complaints. Then they would need to be able to prove that the person who runs the website knew they were doing something against the regulation, had the opportunity to correct it, but chose to ignore it. There are just too many website owners out there who simply don't have the technical or legal knowledge to understand these new GDPR rules or the skills to do something about it. Most people on this forum can't even agree on what the rules are, let alone what should be done.

If Google really took the GDPR seriously, they would have created simple AdSense solutions that anyone can use. They've had plenty of time to do that. But they didn't, because they don't. They also would have made it clear that if you do not take action by May 25, your account will be closed. But they didn't. Even the easiest solution, disabling personalized ads, is there if you go looking for it but it's not turned on by default. They put some options out there for more technical publishers to implement themselves, but they know that most publishers won't end up doing anything, and that's exactly what Google wants because it keeps the AdSense money flowing.

Claiming that AdSense publishers can be held legally responsible for what an advertiser does with the user's information is like charging a car dealership for selling a car that was then used in a crime. One has nothing to do with the other. It's up to Google to make sure that the advertisers on their network agree to follow the rules. It should not be up to publishers to block advertisers from our sites.

[edited by: Cralamarre at 1:17 pm (utc) on May 27, 2018]

12:55 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Cralamarre totally agree, there are lot of confusions without any proper solutions.
1:05 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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In the UK there is still a lot of churn taking place. During the last 24 hours a number of the big sites have tightened. I expect there will be a lot of analysis of bounce rates in the next few days. It's still possible full screen modals will add a splash screen element and become the defacto norm - continuing the trend of websites becoming more like apps.
1:07 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I think big sites will just say - accept the terms, or you're not coming in.

"If you don't agree to us showing interest-based ads, bog off"
1:10 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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However, if Adsense publishers get Google into hot water how long do you think your account will last?


Personally, I don't care! When you get an average of one click per 1,000 page views, how much would I lose? If Google gets into any hot water, they do that strictly on their own. I don't see how any publisher could possibly get Google into trouble.
1:26 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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"If you don't agree to us showing interest-based ads, bog off"

And that's the way it should be. No one has a right to my content. If you can't even be bothered to let me show relevant ads to you while you're benefiting from all the work I've done for you, take a hike.

These days, you can't even answer your phone without risking that the person on the other end is going to talk you out of your life savings. Does anyone hold the phone company accountable for that? Or the company who made your phone? Nope. But on the internet, if you have a website and stick an AdSense ad on a page, you now risk losing everything, because anything that happens is your fault.
1:36 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Cralamaree I agree 100%. I think that's exactly what I am going to put on my site. I will most likely say something like "We offer FREE content, and advertising supports our site. If you don't want to see interest-based ads, please leave."
1:50 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This is fun to see how everybody (including me) is blaming the EU, whereas, regulations are made because of the the fault of Facebook, Google, and other Internet giants which have been exploiting personal data abusively since years. And, this is not only a problem with the EU, since other countries are beginning to legislate on this too. This is Google (in our case) , which should be blamed for not being able to propose legal solutions to web publishers...
1:54 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Cralamarre Have you added the cookie consent?
1:57 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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QuaterPan I don't blame the EU, which is why I'm not banning EU visitors. I absolutely blame companies like Facebook and Google for this mess, and especially Google for trying to pass the blame and responsibility onto us. This is Google's mess to deal with, not mine. The whole point of AdSense was supposed to be that I could focus on creating great content and let Google worry about the ads. But now, suddenly, I'm responsible for all of it.
1:58 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Anyone implementing a consent prior to set cookies for adsense for non-personalised ads?
1:59 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@MayankParmar No, I removed the Silktide banner yesterday and have not added it back. Not sure I'm going to.

I can't prove a connection yet, but today, without the Silktide banner, my UK AdSense earnings are returning to normal. Of course, I would need to restore the Silktide banner at this point to see if earnings drop again.
2:11 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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QuaterPan I don't blame the EU,

My comment was not targeted at you Cralamarre, sorry for the confusion, it was just general remark, reading at this topic.

Anyone implementing a consent prior to set cookies for adsense for non-personalised ads?

I am doing it starting today. As I said earlier, since some weeks, I was no longer showing ads at all to EU visitors, to "experiment", and the side effect was an increase of my earning and traffic. Today, I am refining this, I am still not showing EU visitors ads, but I set up a cookie consent banner at the top. Asking if they accept cookies from ads or not. If they click the "okay", I am refreshing the page, and displaying adsense ads. (with personalized ads disabled). Since I am no longer making any cents from my EU traffic, I thought that, if a fraction "accept", it can only be a plus. Also, people might accept, just to close the banner, I noticed it was reflex...(this is not modal box, this is just a banner at the top of the page).
2:37 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@QuaterPan not showing any ads to EU visitors -- How it possible?
3:22 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Another problem is that on some (big UK) sites personalised ads seem to keep showing even after they have been disabled. That could in itself lead to legal action. If a publisher has paid for a solution that doesn't work it presumably has a right to take action.
3:23 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google has said that it will become a part of the IAB framework regarding GDPR in June and then something else in August. According to [digiday.com ], "Google’s move to make its own ad tools compatible with the IAB framework is a victory for publishers." Anyone know more about this?
3:55 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I think the EU has some blame here. I am no fan of google or facebook. But good effective regulation should be easily understandable by the people its regulating and consumers its protecting. This rule fails in both regards. And the fact that google was able to pass off liability shows the regulation, in spite of its length, was not well thought out. If this is not what the EU intended they should have disallowed that possibility. Basically by having the holders of the data (google and facebook) responsible not website operators.
4:31 pm on May 27, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google has said that it will become a part of the IAB framework regarding GDPR in June and then something else in August.

Sounds like a good reason to hold off on any major changes for now and just wait and see what Google comes up with.
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