By John P. Mello Jr.
May 2, 2018 5:00 AM
Four business groups representing 4,000 publishers criticized Monday for Google's approach to compliance with Europe's general data protection rules. The new rules should come into effect at the end of the month.
Under its new GDPR-compliant policy, Google, as a provider of digital advertising services to publishers, will have exclusive control over the data that will be sent to it by publishers or collected on publishers' websites. .
Moreover, Google's policy requires publishers to obtain legally valid consent, as required by the GDPR, for data sent or collected by Google.
If Google finds the "insufficient" consent mechanism, it may stop posting ads on publisher sites, according to state rules.
"Your proposal is severely deficient on many levels and seems to present a more careful framework to protect your existing business model in a way that would undermine the fundamental objectives of the GDPR and the publishers' efforts to comply with the letter and spirit of the law, "wrote the editors in Monday's letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
The letter is signed by Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next; Angela Mills Wade, Executive Director of the European Publishers Council; David Chavern, President and CEO of News Media Alliance; and David Newell, CEO of the News Media Association.
Controversy over consent
The new policy could force publishers to obtain consent from Google's data sources that they would not need to get themselves, the letter says.
"The act of seeking consent in the first place may not apply to us, but if we share this data with Google, then we would need consent," Danielle Coffee, Vice President from public policy to
News Media Alliance, told the E-Commerce Times.
"Google is essentially throwing all the blame on the publishers," said Amit Dar, chief executive of the United States to
"It's another pressure that publishers are feeling between end-users and revenue generators," he told the E-Commerce Times: "As they do not, it's not the same. were not enough, publishers now have to decide which strategy adheres to the way they see GDPR and balance that with how Google sees GDPR. "
Publishers should get the consent of the people they submit to Google, said Josh Crandall, CEO of NetPop Research.
"Google simply claims that publishers who submit work to Google, presumably for additional audience aggregation, are in compliance with GDPR requirements," he told the E-Commerce Times. "Google simply protects its own business by requiring upstream publishers to comply with the GDPR, if necessary."
The new policy shows that Google is trying to be careful to join the GDPR, said Crandall.
"Google and the EU already have a tense relationship with data privacy, search results and other business practices," he said. "Google is following very closely the requirements of the GDPR to avoid other problems."
It is likely that Google has other reasons for its new policy, suggested Taptica's Dar. "You can be certain that Google is more concerned about its financial results and its business model than adhering to new regulations."
Google did not respond to our request to comment on this story.
In their letter to Pichai, publishers question the timing of Google's new policy.
"We find it particularly disturbing that you waited until the last minute before the GDPR came into force to announce these terms," write the editors, "as publishers now have little time to evaluate the legality or fairness of your proposal and the best way to take into account its impact on their own long-standing GDPR compliance plans. "
However, almost all advertising technology providers are now deploying their GDPR solutions, noted Eric Berry, CEO of
"Although we can see this negatively, the reality is that Google would have been the only advertising technology provider to have published a solution, if they had done it before 30 days before the date of entry into force of the GDPR ". Commerce Times.
Return the ball
Facebook has recently changed its terms of service so that users in Asia, Africa and Latin America, considered part of Facebook Ireland, are considered part of Facebook Inc. in Menlo Park, California, a way that critics consider as a way to delete users. these areas of GDPR protection.
Google's policy change seems to present some similarities with Facebook's approach, although Google has more to lose than Facebook.
"The bulk of Google's money comes from data collection and distribution, which exposes them more to their business model than other social media platforms," noted Gary Southwell, Executive Director of
"With this policy, Google takes a firm stance and tries to do without the money," he told the E-Commerce Times. "I believe publishers are posting in an open letter for the EC to consider this and make a decision in their favor."