On April 26 2018, Google announced it would incorporate an ad policy change for publishers to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will go into effect on May 25. Due to the sudden change in ad policy, four large publishing trade groups have come together to address Google CEO Sundar Pichai in a letter that criticizes the new demands placed on publishers. The publishing groups are dismayed by the lack of information and the short notice to make the necessary changes within their own respective groups.
The members of the publishing groups who sent the letter include Digital Content Next, European Publishers Council, News Media Alliance, and News Media Association. The top executives of these companies expressed their discomfort in the sudden change, and more importantly, the lack of clarity on behalf of Google. According to FolioMag, the three areas that stirred the most concern and uncertainty 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.”
The following excerpt is from the letter addressed to CEO Sundar Pichai, on behalf of the four publishing groups:
“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.”
Google may want to resolve this issue before it damages their relationship with long-time publishers. The mutual relationship may suffer if there continues to be a lack of clarity between the two parties.