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GDPR overview and guidance

Limited ads

Limited ads in AdSense function similarly to programmatic limited ads in Ad Manager and AdMob.

Limited ads (LTD) give publishers the ability to serve ads in a limited way. Limited ads disable the collection, sharing, and use of personal data for personalization of ads. Note the following:

  • The browser’s Trust Token API may be accessed to help defend against fraud and abuse. Google does not require publishers to obtain consent for this use case.
  • Ad-serving technologies (our JavaScript tags and/or our SDK code) will still be cached or installed as part of the normal operation of users' browsers and mobile operating systems, and ad creatives will still be sent to, and in some instances cached on, devices. Data like IP addresses will still be used in the course of basic ad serving.
  • Invalid traffic detection-only cookies & local storage will be used to help defend against fraud and abuse and Google does not require publishers to obtain consent for that.

If a publisher uses the IAB TCF v2.2 consent framework, we will attempt to serve an eligible limited ad when there is no consent for Purpose 1. Alternatively, a publisher can manually send a signal (see Implementation) and Google will similarly attempt to serve an eligible limited ad regardless of user location.

Demand eligibility

Bidding is available on inventory eligible for limited ads. A publisher can enable this serving mode to allow for contextual demand when publishers are serving limited ads and enables demand from Google demand and Authorized Buyers.

If publishers decide to use this new serving mode, Google will make use of invalid traffic detection-only cookies & local storage on consented and un-consented traffic. Accordingly, demand will be enabled (and an invalid traffic-only cookie & local storage used) when there is no certified consent management platform (CMP) present or a user has declined consent for Purpose 1 of IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF), and the signal for all other lawful bases required for limited ads are present in the TC string.

Where no CMP is present, publishers are reminded that they must still comply with all relevant provisions of the EU user consent policy (including, for example, the obligations to clearly identify each party that may collect, receive, or use end users’ personal data and to provide end users with prominent and easily accessible information about that party’s use of end users’ personal data.)

Limited ads are an optional feature. Publishers are legally responsible for the tools they use to gather consent, including consent for how they use cookies & local storage in online advertising. Publishers should work with their legal teams to determine for themselves whether to use this feature, taking into account relevant regulations and applicable regulator guidance.

Publishers that do not want to use invalid traffic-only cookies and local storage without user consent should opt out of this feature by turning it off in the AdSense user interface.

Turn off limited ads

Limited ads are turned on by default and can be turned off at any time. Complete the following steps to turn off limited ads:

  1. Sign in to your AdSense account.
  2. Navigate to Brand Safety and then Blocking controls and then Ad serving.
  3. Turn off Limited ads.

Turn on limited ads

Complete the following steps to turn on bidding for limited ads if it was previously turned off:

  1. Sign in to your AdSense account.
  2. Navigate to Brand Safety and then Blocking controls and then Ad serving.
  3. Turn on Limited ads.

Implementation

For publishers using the IAB TCF v2.2, we will respect the cookie or ID consent signal (Purpose 1) contained in the TC string. Limited ads will be requested when consent for Purpose 1 is missing but legitimate interest or consent has been obtained for all other lawful bases required for limited ads.
 

Action required for consent management platforms

Publishers using Privacy & messaging can create and traffic consent messages using the IAB TCF v2.2.

Other IAB TCF v2.2 certified consent management platforms (CMPs) shouldn't need to take any action to support limited ads. The existing TC string contains all of the relevant signals required to select the correct serving mode. If the following conditions are met for Google as an ad technology provider, we will serve limited ads:

  • No consent for Purpose 1
  • Legitimate interest or consent for Purposes 2, 7, 9, and 10

The following ad serving modes will be available for publishers:

Ad serving mode Personalized ads Non-personalized ads Limited ads on AdSense
Invalid traffic and fraud protection Supported Supported Supported
Programmatic demand from Google Supported Supported Supported
Programmatic demand from third-party buyers Supported Supported Supported

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