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Implementing Google Consent Mode v2

Last updated on March 22, 2024

In the rapidly evolving landscape of data privacy and user consent, the integration between WebToffee’s GDPR Cookie Consent Plugin and Google Consent Mode v2 marks a significant milestone. With the recent rollout of Google’s updated framework, web developers and site administrators are presented with a refined approach to managing user consent for data collection and usage. This updated version places a heightened emphasis on personalized advertising and analytics, reflecting a commitment to enhanced user privacy and compliance with regulatory standards. This article details how to implement the more stringent Google Consent Mode v2 using the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin.

What is Google Consent Mode?

Google Consent Mode is a feature offered by Google that helps website owners manage user consent for tracking and analytics cookies. It allows websites to adjust how they use Google Analytics and other Google services based on the level of consent users give for data collection and processing. This means that if a user hasn’t given consent for tracking cookies, Google Consent Mode can adjust the way Google Analytics works to still provide some level of data while respecting the user’s privacy preferences. It’s a way for websites to comply with privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA while still using Google services for analytics and advertising.

Working of Google Consent Mode

Google Consent Mode operates by dynamically adjusting the behavior of Google Analytics and other Google services based on the user’s consent status for cookies. Here’s how it typically works:

  1. Consent Status Detection: When a user visits a website, the website’s consent management platform (CMP) determines the user’s consent status regarding cookies, including Google’s tracking and analytics cookies.
  2. Google Analytics Initialization: Based on the consent status, the website initializes Google Analytics with specific configuration settings. If the user has given consent, Google Analytics operates as usual, collecting data for analysis. If the user has not given consent, Google Analytics is configured to work in a restricted mode.
  3. Restricted Mode: In restricted mode, Google Consent Mode instructs Google Analytics to limit data collection and processing. This may involve:
    • Anonymizing IP addresses to ensure user privacy.
    • Reducing the data retention period for collected information.
    • Restricting the use of cookies for personalized advertising and cross-device tracking.
  4. Data Processing: Google Consent Mode ensures that any data collected in restricted mode complies with the user’s consent preferences and applicable privacy regulations. This helps website owners maintain transparency and respect user privacy while still gathering essential analytics data.
  5. Consent Updates: Google Consent Mode continuously monitors the user’s consent status. If the user updates their consent preferences during their visit or in subsequent sessions, Google Analytics adjusts its behavior accordingly, either enabling or restricting data collection as per the updated consent.

Overall, Google Consent Mode provides a flexible approach for website owners to balance the need for analytics and advertising insights with user privacy preferences and regulatory compliance.

Google Consent Mode Version 2

Google Consent Mode V2, launched in late November 2023, represents a significant advancement over its predecessor. It mandates explicit user consent for cookies and data usage, specifically focusing on personalized ads and analytics. Notably, the update introduces two additional consent states related to advertising: ad_user_data and ad_personalization. The new Google Consent Mode is more a requirement than an option for websites that want to accurately track conversions and effectively optimize their advertising spend moving forward.

Google Consent Types

In short, starting in March 2024, Google Consent Mode v2 will mandate the transmission of four distinct signals to activate personalized advertising for new users in the European Economic Area (EEA). This means that if consent is denied for one or more parameters, the relevant tags either adjust their behavior or remain completely blocked. The consent type parameters and their intentions are discussed below:

  • ad_storage – New addition to GCM V2. This parameter manages advertisement cookies.
  • analytics_storage – New addition to GCM V2. This parameter manages analytics cookies.
  • ad_user_data – This parameter shows if a user agrees to share their data with Google for ads. It’s vital for gathering data used in targeted ads.
  • ad_personalization – This parameter decides if personalized ads, like remarketing campaigns, can be turned on. It follows user preferences on personalized ads, based on the consent given or denied via your site’s cookie banner.
  • functionality_storage – This parameter is related to the functionality of the website or app, such as language settings.
  • personalization_storage – This parameter is related to personalization, such as video recommendation.
  • security_storage – This parameter is related to security, such as authentication and fraud prevention.

Steps to Implement Google Consent Mode v2

Follow the below-mentioned steps to activate GCM v2:

  1. In the General tab, head to the Google Consent Mode section. Click on Enable Google Consent Mode.
  1. Map the required consent types from the Consent type mapping pop-up.
  1. You can later alter the consent mapping by clicking on the Map consent type link.