Google’s failure to enter a consortium of advertising technology companies has ruined the group’s attempts to comply with new EU GDPR privacy laws.
Google has failed to join a group of advertising technology companies in their attempts to comply with new EU data regulation laws that came into effect on May 25 with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation. Google’s policy decisions can have a massive effect on the $200 billion online advertising industry, which is dominated by Google and Facebook.
Hundreds of advertising technology firms joined together to launch a piece of software a month before the GDPR took effect which would verify user consent for displaying ads. This would allow all of the firms to comply with the GDPR’s rules. On May 22, Google announced that they would not be joining the industry-wide program until August, causing huge delays for firms involved. Google employed a temporary solution to the problem which many have criticized, claiming that Google’s advertising clients are targeting ads towards users who have not given consent for personalized marketing, a violation of new GDPR rules.
Google declined to comment on possible policy innovations, instead repeating its claim that the GDPR “is a big change for everyone,” and that it plans to work with all of their partners to ensure compliance with the new rules. Ad technology executives have said that they are now hoping that they will receive leniency from regulators as they wait for Google to support the technology consortium — this is largely because GDPR fines can reach as high as 4 percent of a firm’s annual revenue, a huge blow to many of the companies in the group. Walter Knapp, chief executive of ad software company Sovrn Holdings Inc., stated: “Once Google adopts the consent framework, much of the confusion will start to settle down a bit.”
French and German authorities have stated that they have yet to investigate any policy violations related to online advertising but analysts believe that this is just a matter of time.