What is Google's Consent mode?

Posted 23 days ago by Taner Oksuzsoy

4 Minute(s) to read

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Google’s Consent mode, currently in beta, is a data privacy and security solution that is being implemented in relation to the recent push for improved user data-privacy. The mode allows website owners to adjust how Google tags behave based on the permissions users have given to your site. 

The tags are flexible and will dynamically react, only utilising measurement tools for specific purposes after permission has been given by the user. This can be done by indicating whether or not the user has granted consent for Google Analytics and Google Ads cookies. 

Please note that the mode is not a consent platform. A system or solution already needs to be in place for collecting user’s consent when data is being collected on your site. 

Products that currently support Consent mode

  • Google Ads (Includes Ads Conversion Tracking and Remarketing, support for Phone Call Conversions is not currently available but will be in the future)
  • Google Analytics
  • Floodlight 

What happens when Consent mode is deployed?

Consent mode will adjust the behaviour of the following pings once it has been deployed:

  • Consent status pings (Ads and Floodlight tags): Pings will be sent from each page the user visits where the mode is implemented. It will also trigger some tags if the permission status is changed from denied to granted and vice versa. Pings will communicate the default state that has been configured by the site owner and/or the state (granted or denied) for each consent type (ad/analytics storage)
  • Conversion pings: Pings that are sent to indicate that there has been a conversion 
  • Analytic pings: Pings that are sent for each page of a website where Analytics is implemented and events are logged 

When it is granted, measurement functions will be processed with their defaulted behaviours.

When Google Analytics/Ads storage is denied, associated measurement functions will adjust their behaviour accordingly as identified by the user’s privacy options. 

What can pings include? 

Pings may include functional information such as:

  • Timestamps
  • User-agent (Software acting on behalf of the user)
  • Referrer 

Pings may also include aggregate/non-identifying information such as:

  • Boolean information 
  • Information about the consent platform used by the site owner
  • Whether or not the previous or current page in the navigation on the site included ad click information in the URL 

Consent mode and Google Ads

Setting up Consent mode with Ads will not affect conversion tracking, rather help measure conversions that are reflective of the user’s permission choices for third-party cookies. For example, if a user does not provide consent for Ads cookies, tags will not use cookies for advertising purposes. 

A graphic of Consent Mode when applied to Google Ads

(Source)

Consent mode and Google Analytics

Setting up the mode with Analytics will result in Analytics being able to understand and respect user consent for Ads cookies. For example, if consent is disabled, Analytics will not read or write Ads cookies. This will result in optional features, like remarketing, being disabled.

Consent mode behaviours

How the default behaviours work as if all Consent options are granted:

Web Mobile Apps
  • Cookies pertaining to advertising may be read and written.
  • IP addresses are collected.
  • The full web page URL, including ad-click information in URL parameters, is collected.
  • Third-party web cookies previously set on google.com and doubleclick.net, and first-party conversion cookies are accessible.
  • Advertising identifiers may be collected.
  • The app-instance ID generated by Google Analytics for Firebase SDK is collected.

 

When one or more forms of Consent are not granted, there are additional behaviours to consider:

Web Mobile Apps
  • No new cookies pertaining to advertising may be written.
  • No existing first-party advertising cookies may be read.
  • Requests are sent through a different domain to avoid previously set third-party cookies from being sent in request headers.
  • Google Analytics will not read or write Google Ads cookies, and Google signals features will not accumulate data for this traffic.
  • Full page URL is collected, may include ad-click information in URL parameters. Ad-click information will only be used to approximate accurate traffic measurement.
  • IP addresses are used to derive IP country, but are never logged by our Google Ads and Floodlight systems and are immediately deleted upon collection. Note: Google Analytics collects IP addresses as part of normal internet communications.

 

  • No Advertising ID, IDFA, or IDFV may be collected.
  • Google Signals features will not accumulate data for this traffic.
  • IP addresses are used to derive IP country, but are never logged by our Google Ads and Floodlight systems and are immediately deleted upon collection. Note: Google Analytics collects IP addresses as part of normal internet communications.

 

To Wrap Things Up 

We hope you have found this blog helpful. If you need to know more about data-privacy or tagging solutions contact our digital analytics team!

Internetrix is an award-winning Australian data and technology company that has been a Google Partner for over a decade!