New AdSense for Search consent requirements for Switzerland

New requirements for publishers using Google AdSense for Search to comply with user consent regulations in Switzerland.

New AdSense for Search consent requirements for Switzerland

Google today announced upcoming changes to AdSense for Search (AFS) concerning user consent requirements for Switzerland. These changes align with the broader EU User Consent Policy, which also applies to the European Economic Area (EEA) and the United Kingdom.

The new policy goes into effect on July 31, 2024, and affects publishers using AFS products like AdSense for Search, AdSense for Domains, and Programmable Search Engine. These publishers will need to comply with the policy when serving ads to users in Switzerland.

There are two main ways publishers can comply:

Use a Certified Consent Management Platform (CMP) with Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) Integration: A CMP is a service that helps websites manage user consent for data collection practices like cookies and local storage. The TCF is a framework developed by the IAB Europe to standardize how consent is collected and communicated across the advertising industry. By using a Google-certified CMP with TCF integration, publishers can ensure they are collecting user consent in a way that complies with the EU User Consent Policy.

Implement the 'ivt' Parameter: This option allows publishers to indicate that they are willing to accept ads that use an "invalid traffic-only" cookie and local storage, even on traffic where user consent has not been obtained. It's important to note that implementing the 'ivt' parameter is optional. Publishers should carefully consider the legal and regulatory implications before using this option, potentially seeking legal advice to ensure compliance.

What happens if a publisher doesn't comply? After July 31, 2024, if a publisher submits an ad request for Swiss traffic that doesn't use a certified TCF CMP or the 'ivt' parameter, Google will not serve search ads on that website.

The onus of legal responsibility falls on the publisher. They are responsible for ensuring the tools they use to gather user consent, including consent for cookies and local storage in online advertising, comply with relevant regulations.

While implementing the 'ivt' parameter is an option, publishers should carefully weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks. Consulting with a lawyer familiar with data privacy regulations is recommended to determine the best course of action for each specific situation.

Google remains committed to supporting publishers during this transition period. They have published resources explaining the new requirements in detail, including a list of certified CMPs. Publishers already working with a certified CMP for EEA and UK traffic should confirm their CMP's plans to support TCF compliance for Swiss traffic.

This change in AdSense for Search reflects the evolving landscape of online user privacy regulations. As user privacy concerns grow, regulators around the world are implementing stricter rules on how data is collected and used. The EU User Consent Policy is a significant example of this trend, and it's important for publishers to stay informed about these changes to ensure their businesses remain compliant.

This month, Google announced updates to the AdSense platform regarding privacy messaging for compliance with US state regulations.

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