Beyond the consent banner
In the wake of regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), implementing cookie consent has become an essential part of compliance for businesses across all industries. These regulations have introduced distinct regional consent models that impact how organizations collect data, derive analytics and track their users.
The real complexity in implementing cookie consent isn’t just about setting up a consent banner, but rather about managing the intricate web of analytics and tracking within the domain. The analytics and tracking elements can manifest themselves on a domain in a variety of forms but, at a high level, are defined as the following:
A cookie is a small data file stored by a web browser and used for tracking and personalization. Cookies are used to remember stateful information (information about the state of a user’s interaction with the site), track browsing activity and manage sessions. Cookies enable websites to offer personalized experiences by storing user preferences, login details, and other data.
A pixel is a 1×1 image or code snippet for tracking user behavior and interactions. It is often invisible to the user, but can send information back to the server when loaded. This information can include details like user behavior, device type and other interactions. Marketers use pixels for tracking conversations, retargeting and to gather data on user activity.
A tag is a code snippet embedded in web pages for data collection and feature integration. Generally, tags are inserted into the HTML of a webpage to collect data or integrate third-party features. Tags can be used for a variety of purposes, including analytics, tracking, user behavior monitoring and advertising. They are the backbone of many web analytics, digital marketing and personalization services.
The challenge lies in ensuring that these elements align with user consent and legal norms. Intensive tag governance becomes a pivotal strategy in achieving compliance. This approach goes beyond consent mechanisms and focuses on understanding and controlling the underlying elements of a website, such as tags, tracking pixels and cookies.
For firms conscientious about privacy and data protection, the focus on tag governance is a key building block to not only meet legal obligations but also foster trust among increasingly privacy-aware customers.