Nenad Todorovic
By Nenad Todorovic on 06 Mar, 2024

In late November 2023, Google unveiled Consent Mode Version 2 (v2), marking a significant change in how consent is managed across its suite of products, including Google Ads and Google Analytics. This update comes in response to the evolving Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Google’s commitment to user consent.

Starting March 2024, Google will step up enforcement of these updated consent requirements. Businesses and website owners are now facing a clear mandate: adapt to these changes or risk restrictions on their use of Google’s advertising and analytics tools. This move underpins the urgency for organisations, including those in the UK and echoed by compliance platforms like CookieBot, to ensure their practices align with Google Consent Mode v2's guidelines. 

Failure to implement the necessary changes by the March 2024 deadline will lead to service disruptions. So you need to act now to ensure your organisation isn't impacted!

Read on to understand what Google Consent Mode v2 is, and how it can be useful to your organisation…


What is Google Consent Mode v2?

Google Consent Mode v2 was created to seamlessly work alongside your website's existing consent management platforms, such as OneTrust, TrustArc, and CookieBot. It works by delivering the consent preferences of users from cookie banners/widgets to Google's services, including Google Analytics and Google Ads.

This integration allows consent management platforms to dynamically adjust according to user consent choices, ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements like the GDPR and DMA.

Essentially your business will still be able to make use of critical data analytics and advertising capabilities, but within a compliant framework.

Key features of Google Consent Mode v2

Google Consent Mode v2 introduces several new features and enhancements to help websites align more closely with European privacy regulations.

In addition to the previously existing 'analytics_storage' and 'ad_storage' parameters, Google has introduced two additional parameters, 'ad_user_data' and 'ad_personalisation'.

  1. ad_user_data: controls whether user data can be sent to Google for advertising purposes.

  2. ad_personalisation: controls whether personalised advertising (otherwise known as re-marketing) can be enabled.

These newly introduced parameters are designed to offer granular consent options, ensuring that users are fully aware of and consent to the specific types of data being collected and used. This approach not only aids in compliance with strict privacy laws but also enhances transparency and trust between websites and their users.

Google Consent Mode v2 also incorporates advanced machine learning capabilities. These technologies play a crucial role in estimating and adjusting analytics data in response to the given user consents. Such integration allows for more accurate data analysis and insights, even in scenarios where direct user data collection is restricted due to consent limitations.

The machine learning aspect of Google Consent Mode v2 fills potential gaps in data collection, ensuring that analytics and personalisation services continue to function effectively. Google machine learning will analyse patterns in historical and aggregated data, device type, conversion events, geographic location, timing of interactions, and model conversion and behaviour trends. This approach ensures that valuable insights remain accessible for analysis, despite the absence of direct user consent while adhering to privacy regulations. It demonstrates Google's commitment to balancing the need for data-driven insights with the imperative of respecting user privacy.

Implementing Google Consent Mode v2

To deploy Google Consent Mode v2 effectively, it's recommended to utilise a Google-certified Consent Management Platform (CMP), integrating it with Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics 4 for comprehensive management of user consents. For details on Google-certified CMPs, refer to Google's support documentation here.

When it comes to user consent, the consent banner is responsible for capturing and conveying user consent preferences to Google's suite of services, ensuring data collection practices align with the expressed consent of each user. And Google's Consent Mode can be applied in two distinct configurations. Both modes are designed to offer flexibility in managing compliance with privacy laws while maintaining the functionality of Google's analytics and advertising services.

Basic Mode

Basic Mode prioritises user consent by withholding Google tags from loading until the user has interacted with the consent banner. Based on the user's consent choices, the relevant data collection processes are either enabled or disabled.

This mode emphasises direct compliance with privacy regulations by relying on explicit user consent before any data collection.

Advanced Mode

Advanced Mode, on the other hand, adopts a more nuanced approach by allowing the collection of anonymised, non-cookie data prior to obtaining consent.

This data can then be used by Google for analytical and advertising model enhancements. This mode supports ongoing data analysis and personalisation efforts in a manner consistent with privacy regulations, even when explicit user consent for tracking is not obtained.

The importance of compliance and advanced data modelling

By March 2024, updating to Google Consent Mode v2 becomes crucial for maintaining the functionality of Google's advertising products within the EU/EEA and UK. Failure to comply will result in the inability to gather new user data from these regions, potentially impacting the efficacy of advertising efforts.

To summarise, this means:

  • Without Google Consent Mode v2, remarketing and personalised advertising features will be deactivated.
  • Personal data collection for online advertising will be disabled.
  • Google Analytics User_ID identifier will be unavailable for tracking user interactions across sessions.
  • No enhanced conversions.
  • Google Ads, Display & Video 360, and Search Ads 360 will not receive data.
  • No personalised advertising with Google's advertising products.

You need to act now!

The deadline is approaching.

It's essential to evaluate your current approach to cookie consent and consider the adoption of Google Consent Mode v2.

Selecting an appropriate CMP and configuring your preferred version of Consent Mode are key steps to ensure compliance with data protection laws and to mitigate any adverse effects.

Our experts are here to help (and quickly!). Get in touch!


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