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Digital Publishing Industry Groups Criticize Google Ad Policy

Four publishing trade groups have released a letter addressed to Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, that criticizes the GDPR demands placed on publishers as well as the lack of information provided by the company in their policy change.

Top executives from Digital Content Next, European Publishers Council, News Media Alliance and News Media Association, expressed the concerns they share about the regulations placed on publishers who wish to continue using Google’s advertising services in the European Union.

The three areas highlighted in the letter that pose the most concern and create uncertainty for the trade groups are Google’s Controller Terms, responsibility of obtaining legal consent, and the complete placement of liability of said consent on the publisher and not on Google.

While the letter includes a variety of grievances, most can be related back to this initial one posed in the third paragraph of the letter:

As the major provider of digital advertising services to publishers, we find it especially troubling that you would wait until the last-minute before the GDPR comes into force to announce these terms as publishers have now little time to assess the legality or fairness of your proposal and how best to consider its impact on their own GDPR compliance plans which have been underway for a long time.

Such assessments from publishers include the dissatisfaction with the company’s insistence that publishers must share any customer data with Google and are responsible for getting consent from users for this data on Google’s behalf, without disclosing how the company plans on using the information.

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Further reading:

Digital Content Next – Letter to Google, full text

What’s New in Publishing: GDPR – The Ultimate Resource Guide

Ad Age: Google and GDPR hand publishers a hard choice

The Register – Publishers tell Google: We’re not your consent lackeys