Everything you need to know about Google Consent Mode in Google Analytics at a glance, including a guide

Alles Wichtige zum Google Consent Mode (Einwilligungsmodus)

In the digital age, adherence to data protection regulations is a key element for anyone who uses web analytics tools like Google Analytics. Starting in March 2024, the Consent Mode in Google Analytics (Google Consent Mode v2) will take effect and become mandatory for many users. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the most important aspects of this new feature. We explain why Google is introducing the Consent Mode, how it differs from existing cookie opt-in procedures, and what consequences user consent or refusal has. Additionally, we shed light on the new parameters in Consent Mode V2 and their significance for advertisers and website operators. At the end of the article, there is a practical to-do list for implementing the new requirements.

Key Questions & Answers About Consent Mode in Google Analytics

  • What is Consent Mode in Google Analytics? Consent Mode is a new feature of Google Analytics that becomes mandatory for certain users from March 2024. It enables the legal collection of user data for personalized advertising and ensures that user consent is obtained before their data is used for personalized advertising.
  • Why was Consent Mode introduced? Google is responding to stricter data protection laws, particularly the Digital Markets Act. The goal is to obtain and process user consent more transparently and in compliance with the law, especially regarding personalized advertising.
  • What is the “EU User Consent Policy” for Google Analytics? This policy outlines how user consent must be obtained for the use of their data by Google services. It includes requirements for logging consents, transparency about the use of data and services, simple objection options, and the obligation to obtain consents through third parties.
  • Does Consent Mode replace the Cookie Opt-In? No, Consent Mode is an addition and not a replacement for existing cookie opt-in procedures. It forms an interface between the cookie opt-in procedure and Google Analytics.
  • Do all users of Google Analytics have to use Consent Mode? Consent Mode must be used by users who use Google services for personalized marketing and advertising like Google Ads. For users who do not use such services, the mode is not mandatory.
  • What happens if users consent to Google Analytics? After consent, Google Analytics and the associated cookies are activated to collect user data. This data is then transmitted to Google.
  • What happens if users refuse consent? If users refuse consent, Google Analytics will not run in the simple implementation, and no cookies will be set. However, in the advanced implementation, limited data can still be collected without cookies.
  • What is the difference between Cookie Opt-In and the advanced implementation of consent? The essential difference lies in data processing: Cookie Opt-In allows comprehensive tracking, while the advanced implementation allows limited data collection even without consent.
  • Is it possible to measure Google Ads conversions without consent? Yes, but only in a limited way. Special “conversion pings” can track whether a user has arrived at a website via a Google ad without comprehensive tracking.
  • When is consent required for Google Analytics? Consent is almost always required, as Google Analytics processes personal data in most cases.
  • Why are three different consents needed? Due to different legal requirements: ePrivacy/TTDSG concerns access to end devices, GDPR regulates the protection of personal data, and the DMA law requires special consent for Google.
  • Can server-side tracking be used without consent? Server-side tracking can minimize the risk of a data protection violation, but depending on the interpretation of data protection laws, consent may still be required.
  • Do I need to mention the use of Google Analytics in Consent Mode in the privacy policy? Yes, it is necessary to mention the use of Google Analytics and Consent Mode in the privacy policy to create transparency and fulfill informational obligations.
  • What are the consequences of violations? Violations can result in fines, audits, as well as warnings and claims for damages. Therefore, it is important to obtain consent before transmitting data to Google.
  • What is the main function of Consent Mode? The main function of Consent Mode is to help Google fulfill its own legal obligations and effectively use user consents for Google services.
  • How important is the early implementation of Consent Mode? It is recommended to implement Consent Mode as early as possible, as this is crucial for compliance with data protection regulations. Early implementation ensures that user consent is obtained before data is used for personalized advertising.
  • What are the new parameters in Consent Mode V2? Google has introduced two additional parameters into the Consent Mode API: ad_user_data and ad_personalization. These parameters support granular consent according to GDPR and allow for more detailed control of data processing based on user consent.
  • What implementation modes does Consent Mode V2 offer? Consent Mode V2 offers two implementation modes – the Basic Consent Mode V2, where Google tags are blocked until users give their consent, and the Advanced Consent Mode V2, where Google tags are loaded before the consent banner and send cookieless pings if consent is refused.
  • Why is Consent Mode V2 important for advertisers and marketers? Consent Mode V2 is crucial for advertisers and marketers as it allows them to gain valuable insights into campaign performance and user behavior through conversion modeling and anonymized data reporting, even without user consent.
  • Is a cookie banner still necessary? Yes, despite the introduction of Consent Mode V2, the need for a cookie banner remains. User consent is still required and is managed via a Consent Management Platform (CMP). Consent Mode V2 works in conjunction with these platforms to transmit consent signals.

To-Do List for Marketers, Website Operators & Publishers:

  1. Understand Consent Mode V2: Familiarize yourself with the new requirements and features of Google Consent Mode V2. This includes understanding the additional parameters like ad_user_data and ad_personalization.
  2. Plan the implementation of Consent Mode: Plan how and when Consent Mode will be implemented on the website or app. Pay attention to the deadline until March 2024.
  3. Choose between Basic and Advanced Mode: Decide whether to use the Basic or Advanced Consent Mode V2. The Basic Mode blocks Google tags until user consent is obtained, while the Advanced Mode loads Google tags before the consent banner and sends cookieless pings if consent is refused.
  4. Update the cookie banner: Ensure that the cookie banner or Consent Management Platform (CMP) complies with the new requirements and is correctly integrated with Google Consent Mode V2.
  5. Set up and test the implementation: Set up Consent Mode in your Google Analytics and/or Google Tag Manager account and test the implementation to ensure everything is working correctly.
  6. Train the team: Inform and train the marketing and web development team about the new requirements and the implementation of Consent Mode V2.
  7. Update the privacy policy: Update the privacy policy to include information about the use of Google Analytics in Consent Mode and the corresponding user consent procedures.
  8. Monitor and adjust: Monitor the performance and user behavior on the website after implementing Consent Mode V2 and make adjustments as necessary.

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