Tools to help publishers comply with the GDPR

Google has a long history of taking a user-first approach in everything AdSense does. As a part of AdSense’s commitment to users, AdSense never sells personal information and gives users transparency and control over their ad experiences via tools like My Account, Why this Ad, and Mute this Ad.

AdSense also invests in initiatives such as the Coalition for Better Ads, the Digital News Initiative, the Google News Initiative, and ads.txt in order to support a healthy, sustainable ads ecosystem and help you, AdSense publishers, grow. 

In August 2017, AdSense announced AdSense’s commitment to comply with Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which applies to users in the EEA and the UK. GDPR is in effect and AdSense is committed to working with you to make this transition as smooth as possible.

This Help Center article provides more details about how AdSense is supporting you with the changes GDPR brings. In addition, here’s a link to some commonly asked questions in an FAQ for easy reference.

Controller responsibilities

Across AdSense publisher suite (Google Ad Manager, Ad Exchange, AdMob, and AdSense), both you and Google operate as independent controllers of personal data. AdSense operates as a controller because AdSense regularly makes decisions on the data to deliver and improve the product — for example, testing ad serving algorithms, monitoring end-user latency, and ensuring the accuracy of the AdSense forecasting system.

Additionally, AdSense uses data to deliver relevant and high-performing ads in features like Optimized Pricing in the open auction. Find out more about how AdSense process data in Ad Manager and Ad Exchange here

The designation of Google’s publisher products as the controller does not give Google any additional rights over data derived from a publisher’s use of those products. Google’s uses of data continue to be controlled by the terms of its contract with its publishers, and any feature-specific settings chosen by a publisher through the user interface of AdSense products.

You are not required to seek consent for a user’s activity on Google’s sites (AdSense obtain that ourselves when users visit AdSense sites). AdSense is asking only that you seek consent for your uses of AdSense ads products on your properties.

AdSense already requires that certain consents are obtained from your users in the EEA and the UK, and AdSense are updating those requirements in line with the GDPR. AdSense encourages you to link to this user-facing page explaining how Google manages data in its ads products.

Doing so will meet the requirement of AdSense EU User Consent Policy to give your users information about Google’s uses of their personal data.

Consent support

The GDPR introduces significant new obligations for the ecosystem (see GDPR legal and regulatory guidance references below), and the changes AdSense announced to AdSense EU User Consent Policy reflect this. AdSense has updated AdSense Help Page for the EU User Consent Policy to address questions AdSense has received from AdSense customers. 

AdSense is providing a range of optional tools to help you with gathering user consent across your websites and apps, including:

AdSense will continue to engage with IAB Europe on their transparency & consent framework, as well as work to ensure industry solutions are interoperable with Google’s publisher ad serving products (Ad ManagerAdSense).

Control over ads personalization

AdSense are also providing new publisher controls for ads personalization:

  • Ad Technology Provider Controls (Ad Manager Help CenterAdMob Help CenterAdSense Help Center) give you the ability to select which partners you want to measure and serve ads for EEA and UK users on your sites and apps when inventory is sold via programmatic channels, including Programmatic Guaranteed. You can select your preferred partners from a list of companies that have provided us with information about their compliance with the GDPR – all of whom also have to comply with AdSense data usage policy to help protect your users’ data. The full list of ad technology providers featured in those controls is available in the Help Centers for Ad ManagerAdSense, and AdMob. (Measurement and ad technology partners who have not yet provided this information should reach out using this form).
  • Ad Manager Line Item Controls (Ad Manager Help Center) enable you to select which tag-based line items you want to serve to EEA and UK users in personalized and/or non-personalized mode. 
  • A Non-Personalized Ads solution (Ad Manager Help CenterAdSense Help Center) allows you to present EEA and UK users with a choice between personalized ads and non-personalized ads (or to choose to serve only non-personalized ads to all users in the EEA and the UK). Non-Personalized Ads only use contextual information, including coarse general (city-level) location. ​
    • Although these ads don’t use cookies for ad personalization, they do use cookies to allow for frequency capping, aggregated ad reporting, and to combat fraud and abuse. Consent is therefore required to use cookies for those purposes from users in countries to which the ePrivacy Directive’s cookie provisions apply.

GDPR legal and regulatory guidance references

For more information about the GDPR and its application to digital publishers and advertising:

For regulatory guidance on cookie consent in advertising, refer to:

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