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This week Google announced it will be implementing a new user consent policy. Essentially, this new policy requires all websites serving EU visitors, including those not based in the EU, to comply with the EU Cookie Directive. Google posted the notice on its official AdSense blog.

In 2009 an amendment to an existing EU directive (the so-called Cookie Directive) introduced a requirement that companies provide “clear and comprehensive information” to users about the types of tracking technologies used on websites, including a way for users to “consent” to any cookies which are not “strictly necessary” for the delivery of an online service. The majority of EU Member States have now adopted their own Cookie Laws implementing the requirements of the Cookie Directive.

Here’s what AdSense has to say about this new policy:

Why are we doing this?

European Union data protection authorities requested some changes to current practices for obtaining end user consents. It has always been Google’s policy to comply with privacy laws, so we’ve agreed to make certain changes affecting our own products and partners using Google products.

What do you need to do?

If your websites are getting visitors from any of the countries in the European Union, you must comply with the EU user consent policy. We recommend you start working on a policy-compliant user consent mechanism today. There’s guidance from data protection authorities and IABs across Europe on what is required to comply with relevant laws; the IAB’s IAB Europe Guidance: Five Practical Steps to help companies comply with the E-Privacy Directive is a good place to start.

Complying with the EU Cookie Directive is becoming increasingly important. In late 2014, European Data Protection Authorities conducted a EU Cookie Sweep to identify companies that were not in compliance. Non-compliant companies risk both fines and reputational damage.

There are many options for implementing a cookie consent solution. Individual country consent requirements, language variation, user tracking preferences, and operational support are just a few of the challenges you’ll face – all while maintaining online brand and desired user experience. Given this complexity, managing compliance internally can often be both complicated and time consuming. TRUSTe’s EU Cookie Consent Manager helps leading desktop and mobile websites comply with the EU Cookie Directive. Our flexible, online solution helps companies deliver a seamless and user friendly consent notice that lets customers make informed decisions about the collection and use of their personal information.

Want to learn more about the EU Cookie Directive? Download our Solutions Brief by clicking on this link.

What do you think about AdSense’s new policy and how do you plan to comply? Tell us in the comments.