Google’s failure to get to grips with GDPR is leaving many firms which use its advertising services, particularly ad-funded websites and apps, high and dry by targeting ads to users who have not given adequate consent.
Google EMEA president of business and operations Matt Brittin recently claimed that too much of the detail of GDPR had come too late – despite the regulation being passed two years ago – and admitted that the company still is “just starting” to work with partners to see how it can comply with the regulation.
Hundreds of ad tech companies came together to build consent verification software launched a month ahead of GDPR, however, just three days before May 25 Google announced it would not join the programme for a further three months.
Instead the company launched a temporary fix, regarded as insufficient by ad techs, effectively exposing its advertising clients to huge fines.
One of the main issues is Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM), which allows advertisers to buy inventory from ad exchanges.
While many publishers present visitors in Europe with consent agreement pop-ups for ad targeting by third-parties, users’ choices cannot yet be processed by DBM due to it not supporting the consortium standard.
Some exchanges, such as AppNexus and Rubicon Project, claim to be working around the shortfall by only offering ad space on DBM when users have consented. But Reuters reports that DBM data showed negligible decreases in ad space offered from the two firms, despite some 10% of European users not giving consent.
Other ad techs have said they are relying on “deference” from regulators until Google joins the consortium, while recommending publishers block DBM is they cannot guarantee full consent, but it is not known how many have taken the precaution.
Google declined to comment to Reuters on possible policy violations, instead reiterating that GDPR “is a big change for everyone” and that it is working with partners on compliance.
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