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4 min read

Consent management platforms: Upholding privacy and compliance for advertisers

This article was updated on: 21.11.2023

In an era where online privacy and data protection are paramount concerns of internet users, website operators must navigate a complex landscape of regulations and user expectations.

One crucial tool is a Consent Management Platform (CMP); a comprehensive middleware solution designed to manage user consent for data collection and processing by third parties. 

Consent Management Platforms and Tag Management Platforms (TMPs), such as Google Tag Manager, serve distinct but interconnected purposes in managing a website’s functionality, analytics, and marketing tags. Integrating CMPs with TMPs is common, to ensure that user consent preferences are respected when it comes to data collection and processing. 

Consent Management Platforms generate consent signals, which indicate the user’s consent status. Within the Tag Management interface, users can configure tags to be sensitive to each of these consent signals; typically for analytics, personalisation, marketing and more. This may involve setting up triggers or rules within the tag platform that ensure certain tags only fire if the user has given explicit consent. 

With the launch of the Digital Markets Act, the need for website owners to take Consent Management more seriously than before has increased, as now “gatekeeper” advertising and analytics platforms are compelled to take action against receiving unconsented data. 

Let’s delve into the myriad benefits of implementing a Consent Management Platform on your website, ranging from legal compliance to user trust and enhanced data management.

In recent years, regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) have significantly shaped how businesses handle user data. The primary function of a Consent Management Platform is to assist website owners in ensuring compliance with these regulations. By providing a structured framework for obtaining and managing user consent, a CMP becomes an indispensable asset in mitigating the risk of legal consequences and fines associated with non-compliance.

Build end-user trust through transparency 

Transparency is key in building trust between users and the online platforms and websites they rely on. CMPs facilitate this by enabling the display of clear and user-friendly consent banners or pop-ups. Users benefit from knowing what data is being collected, for what purpose, and having the ability to control their preferences. This transparency can not only enhance user trust, but should also contribute to an improved overall user experience when managed effectively.

Customisation for brand consistency 

Every brand has its unique identity, and most platforms allow businesses to tailor consent requests to align with their specific data processing activities. Customization options often include language, design, and user interface, ensuring that the consent experience is not only compliant but also consistent with the brand image.

Global applicability 

For websites with a global audience, navigating the varying landscape of data protection laws in different jurisdictions can be challenging. A well-implemented CMP provides a solution by offering a standardised approach to consent management that can be adapted to different regulatory requirements, ensuring global applicability. 

Adaptability to changing regulations 

The legal landscape for data protection is dynamic, with regulations evolving over time. A CMP that is regularly updated and adaptable ensures that businesses can stay ahead of these changes without undergoing significant website modifications. This adaptability is crucial in maintaining ongoing compliance with the latest regulatory requirements.

Analytics and reporting capabilities 

Some CMPs offer analytics and reporting features, allowing businesses to gain insights into user consent trends, understand user preferences, and generate reports for compliance purposes. This data-driven approach not only aids in meeting legal obligations but also provides valuable information for refining data collection practices based on user behaviour.

This is a quickly changing landscape, as technology vendors continue to launch and innovate, however at the mid-market and enterprise level, some entrenched standalone products have been a safe bet for some time, and these are: 

  • OneTrust, 
  • TrustArc,
  • Cookiebot by Usercentrics,
  • CookieYes

Implementing a Consent Management Platform on your website is not just a legal necessity but a strategic move to build trust, enhance user experience, and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of data protection regulations.

By prioritising your users’ privacy through a CMP, you can strike a balance between legal compliance and user satisfaction in the digital age. Finally, with the Digital Markets Act effective date just around the corner, a CMP will also assist with bringing compliance required for utilising online measurement and advertising platforms safely into 2024 and beyond. 

If you’ve read this article and know you do know have a compliant Consent Management Platform in place, then please get in touch as we have experience across the marketplace of vendors for businesses of all sizes. 

Photo by FLY:D