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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.)
1:10 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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But I think that the support link you provided before refers to this: [prnt.sc...]
No the new EU User Content option that should be available from yesterday, but it's not yet
5:15 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This is well worth a read:

[url]
[uk.reuters.com...]
[/url]

Reuters is a reputable source of news.
5:35 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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5:36 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google is giving publishers a window of 0 seconds to update their ad serving implementations before the GDPR comes into effect on the same day. Google also warns publishers against deploying these APIs prior to that date.


AdSense requires the use of cookies for “frequency capping, aggregated ad reporting, and to combat fraud and abuse” even for their new non-personalized ads. Publishers may be required to not let AdSense set any cookies before they’ve obtained consent to do so.


[hk.saowen.com...]

So not showing any adsense ads before the user give consent and we must do it until May 25th. I doesn't matter if its personalized or non-personalized ads, ads must not appear and cookies must not placed until user consent is given. That's what I understand from this. I wonder if their tool taht should be released tomorrow (10th) will do that automatically.
5:42 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@bgweb That's an interesting article. It spells out that enforcement will be fragmented over various areas / countries of the EU which almost guarantees it will take years to enforce. The question of extra money to enable enforcement is also interesting. Extra money will also take years to be forthcoming.

I think we have many months, probably years, to wait and see how the big websites react to this. We can then copy and wait to see which big websites are hit first and why.

Very reassuring!
5:49 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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But @nomis5 - that doesn't stop Google randomly deciding to close Adsense accounts.

For those who use Wordpress, has anybody found a plugin that could help?

I've found a couple but not looked much into them:
[wordpress.org...]
[wordpress.org...]
5:50 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I agree, I think that Adsense publishers should worry more of not complying and risking their adsense account getting banned.
5:51 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am using cookiebot, makes it very easy. I don't even use the wordpress plugin, just put the code myself and modify the codes where YouTube videos and Adsense ads are.
5:58 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am using cookiebot, makes it very easy. I don't even use the wordpress plugin, just put the code myself and modify the codes where YouTube videos and Adsense ads are.


Are you using any geo type code, to detect where the person is visiting from? Or does the plugin do that? Obviously, it's best to only show this to people who we need to show it to - people visiting from Europe. No point making life harder for ourselves by showing it to everybody.
6:03 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The plugin, if you are a paid customer, offer an option just to enable that functionality from people from the EU.

I will no way take any risk. I am implementing this, although I expect some revenue loss from that step. I don't see any other way, and as I said, it's better than risking your account getting banned.

If anyone has better alternative, by all means, share it with us.
6:10 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Take any risk with what? Only showing it to EU visitors?
6:13 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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What happens if your website visitor is from the EU but accessing your site from outside the EU? He/she is still covered by GDPR I think. Not sure how any plugin / tech will be able to deal with that use case.
6:16 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have no idea. I think it's safe to just show it to everyone then, but again, I have no good answer for that.

I can tell you that in one of my website which (currently only showing to EU) I got 217 opting out and and 6 opted in. So if my site was mainly for EU visitors, I probably wouldn't able to sustain it. I am waiting for Google tool that I've read that it will be released on the 10th and check its functionality. However, after reading the manual implementation, I don't think it will be any different than cookiebit, if there was, I assume that cookiebot would have offered a better option to help publishers sustain their revenue. But let's see tomorrow.
6:33 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I've checked my Ad reports and it seems to be 50/50 between contextual and interest-based. But I wonder, if turning that off, will just mean the contextual ads will make up the lost income.
8:21 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The 'consent' tool people are mentioning is the FundingChoices.

You can see on Google's own answer:
[support.google.com...]
They link 'tool' for desktop/mobile right to the fundingchoices option.

There's 2 million+ publishers, I can't see half of them being able to figure it out on time or implement it.

I envisage about 1 million adsense publishers throwing up a 'we use cookies for analytics and ad capping' banner and hoping for the best.
8:43 pm on May 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I don't think so, check out this page (but I am not sure):

[support.google.com...]

That functionality is not yet available, it should be under "All my sites"".
12:19 am on May 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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doesn't matter if its personalized or non-personalized ads, ads must not appear and cookies must not placed until user consent is given


The bit of the article referring to non personalised ads / cookies refers to the 2011 law, so that doesn't change on May 25. It says "Some countries considers “browser settings” such as the settings for cookies sufficient, while other requite more explicit consent prompts, and others still allow for cookies-by-default but that publishers inform and provide an opt-out method." The vast majority of websites use an info popup, a few have opt out controls.

It does say "Publishers may be required to not let AdSense set any cookies before they’ve obtained consent to do so." But it does say "may" and I'm not sure where this comes from - possibly Google's vague terms which seem to mix the two laws.

True, it then gives the code on how to request consent for any cookies, but I feel any site doing that can kiss goodbye to most their ad revenue (not to mention it also applies to other tools like analytics).

"I wonder if their tool taht should be released tomorrow (10th) will do that automatically"

Note that both the mentioned tools seem to be talking about controlling personalised ads though.
6:18 am on May 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@markwmo - I've been told that two of the UK's biggest news websites will be showing a modal window that requires users to take an action/s before continuing to browse. I'll not name the publishers here for obvious reasons. Whether or not a) they will go through with it b) the other major news publishers plan something similar are questions I can't answer. What does seem obvious is there will be a financial incentive to get user consent for personalised ads. IMO it could be VERY lucrative for publishers who come up with a slick UI / process and they could see their revenue increase. It's simply supply and demand. The danger of course is that a poor implementation will increase bounce rates and hit SEO, thereby reducing total revenue regardless.
10:42 am on May 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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A question I have about the whole cookie acceptance implementation is whether it applies across sites. I.e. if someone opts in to Adsense tracking cookies on one site, will this be carried over to further sites they visit. Would this not be a good thing for Google to be working on?

At the other extreme I would consider putting a cookie consent on every page to simply grind users down...

At the end of the day I will do the bare minimum that Google tell me to. Summer is when 75% of my revenue comes in so I will not be throwing that away at this point by implementing one iota more than I need to.

I'm just too busy trying to earn a living for this ****
10:57 am on May 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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A question I have about the whole cookie acceptance implementation is whether it applies across sites. I.e. if someone opts in to Adsense tracking cookies on one site, will this be carried over to further sites they visit.

It's not Google collecting the cookie consent. It's publishers who obtain the consent from their visitors.

In the future, this kind of thing "might" be handled at the level of web browsers, but it's hard to predict when , and if it will be something good or not for publishers.

Let's say someone visits a site, with ads popping all over, if at this moment, he is asked for his consent or not, of course he'll say "no", so if the answer was automatically applied to all other sites in the world (for this user), see the negative impact?
11:02 am on May 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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People will just get severely p'off if they get popups/cookie messages all over the place. It'll become completely user-unfriendly.

Common sense should state, that if a message is shown when somebody enters the site, telling them the site uses cookies, and how they are used to show interest-based ads, but no details will be passed on, that should be clear - if they accept, then that's it. If they don't, they can leave the website.

It's just the powers that be lacking common sense. Something I see all the time. All that's going to happen is it's going to make browsing the Internet a pain in the backside.
11:05 am on May 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Good point @Travis. I do pride myself on relatively unintrusive ad placements. I guess this also gives scope for a tailored / begging message "Please support my site... picture of kids holding puppy"!

And out of interest, how is this preference stored by the publisher?

[edited by: surfgatinho at 11:08 am (utc) on May 9, 2018]

11:08 am on May 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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People will just get severely p'off if they get popups/cookie messages all over the place. It'll become completely user-unfriendly.

It's been years that we have cookie banner/text in Europe, so nothing is changing.

common sense

The problem is that, the way Internet Giants are exploiting (abusing) tracking / personal information / etc / .. is way beyond "common sense".
11:45 am on May 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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One point I've seen raised repeatedly is that targeting allows more interesting ads to be shown to the user. That may be the case but personally (as a user rather than publisher) I prefer seeing ads that don't show the last thing I was looking at on Amazon. For me the intrinsic value in an ad is more often or not having my interest raised in something I was previously unaware of. Just a thought - perhaps some of the agencies could be missing a trick here.
12:38 pm on May 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It's been years that we have cookie banner/text in Europe, so nothing is changing.


How so? We're talking about more than just clicking 'ok' to consent.
12:44 pm on May 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Isn't it ironic that Facebook have probably had the most effect on raising awareness of and galvanizing public opinion on privacy and personal data, yet it is they who will likely be affected the least by this new regulation. Who knows, they may even profit out of it...

Back on topic; I would think the policing of these regulations will be impossible. To audit a site to check it goes beyond superficial compliance would be expensive and time consuming.
In addition, what about SPAM and cold calling? - these have both been allegedly outlawed for years yet there are barely any significant prosecutions...
1:20 pm on May 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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How so? We're talking about more than just clicking 'ok' to consent.

Yes, my bad. Since I am not using interested based ads, I was still thinking about simple contextual ads; which are (will) not require explicit consent.
1:23 pm on May 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yes, my bad. Since I am not using interested based ads, I was still thinking about simple contextual ads; which are (will) not require explicit consent.


And if I'm understanding it correctly, it will only be needed if the visitor it coming from an EU country.

If they're a member of the EU, but are for example, on holiday in Australia, they are browsing the internet under Australian law - not EU. Therefore, the consent thing regarding interest-based ads, wouldn't be needed. Therefore, a geo type plugin should be an option. Visiting from EU country - display. If not visiting from an EU country - don't.
2:04 pm on May 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@travis I also thought about it, but after researching, I found out that it's not possible because the non-personalized ads also serve cookies and therefore you need to ask consent for those ads as well. So you need to pause any served ads, ask the user for consent for personal ads, if he refuse, you can offer non-personized ads and if he refuses you show no ads.

To minimize the negative impact on revenue, you can do it on country basis, each one based on its own specific laws. Some people have suggested that Idea and I am still investigating it.

I am intending doing it to all my website by My 25th, because it is required by Google:

If you’re using Google products like Google AdSense, you’ll be required by your contract to follow Google’s EU user consent policy. Implementing a consent mechanism like this for your EEA visitors can help you meet the requirements of Google’s own policies.


[cookiechoices.org...]

There is not option not to comply, you have to or risking your Adsense account being banned due to not complying with the GDPR law.

It also say:

In this example, a user can click "Yes" to consent to the specified use of her data. If she clicks "No", she is alerted that she will see only non-tailored ads, and that cookies will be used to deliver the ads. She can confirm this choice, or return.


you can see that nothing is being said in the "or return", but If the user return, this means that he or she does not agree and therefore you shouldn't put any cookie. This is how I personally understood this, so there is not option to displaying ads unless the user consent for displaying non-personalized ads.

What I do is to respect the user's consent and not displaying any type of ads (personalized or non-personalized) , until the user give his consent.

Any other insight, I am all ears.

[edited by: SpookyFairy at 2:21 pm (utc) on May 9, 2018]

2:20 pm on May 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@travis I also thought about it, but after researching, I found out that it's not possible because the non-personalized ads also serve cookies and therefore you need to ask consent for those ads as well. So you need to pause any served ads, ask the user for consent for personal ads, if he refuse, you can offer non-personized ads and if he refuses you show no ads.


But that surely will be the cookie banner that sites have been displaying for a few years.

According to this, Google are including an option to hide interest-based ads from EU visitors.
[webmasterworld.com...]

Therefore:

Display cookie banner, which sites use now + don't show interest-based ads to EU visitors (show them to non EU visitors) = no need for a strict.

Also, Google's current EU consent policy is:

You must use commercially reasonable efforts to disclose clearly, and obtain consent to, any data collection, sharing and usage that takes place on any site, app, email publication or other property as a consequence of your use of Google products; and
You must use commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that an end user is provided with clear and comprehensive information about, and consents to, the storing and accessing of cookies or other information on the end user’s device where such activity occurs in connection with a product to which this policy applies.


To me, a reasonable effort is telling them that data will be stored, to help show relevant adverts. And to ask them to click an 'I accept' button.
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