Octavia DrexlerDecember 14, 2021

Systems and devices are increasingly interconnected, and people work and play online all day long. Considering how much time people spend online, there’s been an increasing need to protect the data privacy of users, and a consent management platform does the trick. 

New laws are emerging around the globe to enforce privacy for users, and compliance can be hard to keep up with. We’re providing an overview about a Consent Management Platform that automatically allows users to give consent to help you stay out of the woods with legal compliance matters. 

What Is a Consent Management Platform? 

A consent management platform, commonly known as a CMP, is a solution that protects the data privacy of users on a website. This platform allows website owners to be compliant with global data privacy laws such as the following: 

  • GDPR – European Union
  • GDPR  – United Kingdom
  • CCPA/CPRA  – California, United States

Consent management platforms leverage cookies and third-party trackers to control user consent on websites that collect and handle personal information. 

The purpose of data privacy laws is to regulate how websites, organizations, businesses, and governments collect and use personal data from the individuals who visit their sites.

Different consent management platforms are emerging to help businesses comply with data privacy laws, and each utilizes different technologies to govern user consent. 

Ultimately, a consent management platform puts a robust website scanner to work that identifies cookies, trackers, and trojan horses and controls them so users can give genuine consent. 

cookies are trojan horses

Why Do You Need a Consent Management Platform?

There are four important reasons to implement a consent management platform. 

  1. Consent is a key component for successfully monetizing your website
  2. In many instances, consent is mandated by law 
  3. Consent inspires your customers’ trust in your brand 
  4. More federal and local regulations around consent will likely be forthcoming

What are the best components of a quality consent management platform? 

  • Implements audit trails to demonstrate compliance and show proof
  • Allows for customization as to how the look and feel
  • Provides flexible options for banner placement and spacing

By giving users an opportunity to choose their preferences to accept or deny consent, you’re giving them control over their data. It lends a level of transparency that makes it easier for them to trust their relationship with your brand. 

why do you need a consent management platform

Finding cookies and trackers is like finding a needle in a haystack as the following statistics show: 

  • 72% of cookies are trojan horses meaning they’re hiding inside other trackers
  • 18% of cookies are deeply hidden within other trackers and could be loaded with eight other cookies
  • 50% of trojan horses automatically change when visitors revisit your website. 

When You Should Use a Consent Management Platform

Before you collect data from a customer, it’s crucial to get their consent. A consent management platform automatically manages the compliance of your web stack. 

How can you know whether you should be using one for your website? If your website performs any of the following actions, you will benefit from a consent management platform. 

  • Leverages personal data to use in remarketing, personalization, customer behavior, analytics, or email marketing
  • Automates decision-making or profiling
  • Transfers data globally (particularly as it pertains to EU customers)

While the laws differ between countries, a content management platform will give you a big boost in compliance. 

What Does a CMP Do, More Exactly?

Whether you’re selling handmade bracelets in a cottage industry or you’re selling a large inventory of office supplies, a consent management platform allows you to have total control over cookies, trackers, and user consent in one, fully automated solution. The software is cutting-edge technology that conforms to any website for any product or service. 

Content management platforms are not like self-defense privacy tools like VPNs or ad blockers that end-users utilize. A CMP is a solution that puts the control of data privacy into your hands. 

What Is GDPR compliance? GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, and it’s a data protection law that’s binding in all parts of the European Union. It was groundbreaking legislation in 2018 in that it extends to all countries. This means it applies to any company or website in the world that interacts with visitors residing in the European Union. The law regulates how any website, company, organization, group, or individual can collect and process personal data that stems from EU residents. 

What is CCPA compliance? CCPA is an acronym for the California Consumer Privacy Act which went into force in July 2020. This regulation applies to California residents and the massive numbers of businesses that interact with them. CCPA impacts all businesses that process personal information from California consumers. It pretty much affects everyone! 

What is LGD compliance? LGPD refers to Lei Geral de Proteção, which is a data privacy law in Brazil that went into effect in the fall of 2020. The law contains 65 rules for regulating how data can be processed or used, and it’s very similar to the GDPR in the European Union. 

How to Select the Best Consent Management Platform? 

Alternative tracking methods are currently being used and new tracking technologies are in the works because browsers will likely no longer allow third-party cookies at some point in the future. 

Before you jump into the water with a consent management platform, you’ll want to keep two things in mind – the type of software and the functionality. 

how to select the best consent management platform

1. Choose a CMP with cloud service and SaaS (software as a service). 

To get down to brass tacks, you can purchase a CMP as an in-house operation or as a cloud service. With an in-house operation, the software processes personal data, however, software purchasers are responsible for ensuring the software has an appropriate level of data protection that meets legal standards. 

On the flip side, you don’t have to worry about installation, operation, or maintenance when you use SaaS as the CMP is implemented via the cloud. As a word of caution, be sure to take notice of the operating location of the cloud-based software. 

2. Choose a CMP that has proven functionality and the capability to configure it. 

Specifically, look for four things – the ability to personalize text and design, granular consent control, storage of consent proof, and the ability to assign roles and responsibilities. 

Pay attention to what the text says and whether the message is clear to users. Also, a quality platform will allow you to modify the text. Some CMPs like the UserCentric platform allows you to fully customize your consent message. Furthermore, UserCentric also gives your users choices based on predefined categories or text you create. 

3. Choose a CMP that allows you to go granular when it comes to user consent 

The template should also allow you to be transparent in informing users at a granular level about who can access their data including third parties and advertising partners. In the best-case scenario, you should be able to add and manage services like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Criteo, etc. 

If compliance was ever in question, a consent management platform should be able to confirm a user gave their consent on an individual basis in a way that is documented and verifiable. The length of storage should match data privacy regulations. 

A consent management platform will allow you to assign roles and responsibilities. You will want to be in complete control of who can edit or check internal settings within the interface to avoid legal problems with data privacy laws. With UserCentrics, you can assign various permissions to legal teams, marketing teams, or IT teams. 

So much has changed with internet usage since the early 2000s. Marketers are more narrowly targeting their audiences and collecting data on consumer behavior. Data abuse has been proliferating ever since. As a result, the issue of data privacy is mounting. 

Users aren’t immune to the perils of data privacy, just as consumers are now highly informed about the brands they are loyal to. Real dangers are lurking in the background the longer companies put off managing data appropriately. The current data privacy laws are likely the tip of the iceberg compared to what’s to come in the future. 

In a nutshell, a consent management platform gives you real privacy and security with the added bonus of ensuring compliance with GDPR, CCPA, and future laws. By implementing a consent management platform on your company website, you will be complying with global privacy laws as well as keeping your website safe from nefarious individuals who collect personal data and sell it to others for a profit. 

At the end of the day, a consent management platform allows you to snub your nose to the surveillance markets that generate colossal data abuse, data breaches, bad information, and massive outreach that’s controlled by algorithms. This type of solution allows you to cut the apron strings between the black data markets and your website. We get it, that’s a lot of technical information to digest. It gets easier the more you learn about it, so follow ClickGuard for more articles and information about advertising, PPC and more.

I work with the Marketing Team and a team of writers to strategize, create, and coordinate quality content for digital marketing & PPC professionals