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New Google Tools Help Publishers Get Consent Around User Data Collection

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Google has launched a new website to help publishers comply with European legal requirements around getting users’ consent to collect data through apps or websites.

Launched on Tuesday, CookieChoices.org was produced by Google and offers code that publishers can use to inform users about cookies and obtain consent on websites and apps.

While the tools are not designed to achieve compliance on their own, they allow publishers to quickly implement a splash screen, notification bar, or a one-time pop-up alert for mobile apps.

In 2012, a new UK law went into effect that requires website owners to be upfront with the information they collect on their visitors through cookies. Failure to comply with the law could cost website owners up to $780,000. At the time, web host Heart Internet developed a free EU cookie policy widget for website owners to use in accordance with the law.

Google is careful to warn users that implementing the code it provides for either the splash screen or notification bar is not enough to be fully compliant, and the tools should be used as part of a wider compliance package.

“There are many ways to obtain consent to use cookies and what is right for one site may not be appropriate for another,” Google said. “So you should seek legal advice on your options.”

Each tool allows publishers to customize a notice or statement directed to their visitors. The language the notice appears in is also customizable.

Offering transparency around what information is collected on a website is not only a legal requirement, but is also a way to create a trusting relationship with customers. There are many other ways to do this, including publishing regular transparency reports that detail government requests for user information.

These new tools and website comes as Google continues to field requests under the new EU “Right to be forgotten” law which requires search engines to remove links from search results.

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