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Digital Marketing

Understanding Google’s Policy Updates and New State Privacy Laws

  • By Evan Eves
  • July 2, 2024
Understanding Google’s Policy Updates and New State Privacy Laws


Emerging state laws regarding personal data privacy have prompted tech giant Google to update its data collection policies. If your organization uses Google Ads or simply manages a website, understanding Google’s policy updates and the new state privacy laws is essential to remain compliant, safeguard user privacy and maintain the trust and loyalty of your brand.

New State Privacy Laws In a Nutshell

Since 2023, new legislation aiming to protect consumer privacy, increase transparency, and enhance security has come into effect in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Virginia, and Utah. In 2025 and 2026, Florida, Texas, Oregon, and Montana will follow suit with new laws restricting the use of personal data for advertising. It is likely other states will join in this effort to protect user information and offer more control over how data is used.

While each state law has its nuances, they generally provide consumers with the rights to access, delete, correct, and opt out of the sale of their personal information. In Colorado, universal opt-out mechanisms (UOOMs) must be automatically honored across all websites. In other states, consumers need to opt out on each site individually.

The Push for Federal Privacy Legislation

As data privacy laws are enacted state by state, organizations operating across state lines are left to interpret a confounding patchwork of regulations. Confirming compliance will inevitably lead to increased administrative burdens. The good news is pressure is increasing on the federal government to introduce comprehensive privacy legislation and simplify compliance. The American Data Privacy Protection Act (ADPPA) has been introduced in legislative discussions and is gathering support but is not scheduled for a vote in 2024.

Google’s Policy Updates and Their Impact

To respond, Google has updated its policies to ensure businesses can better manage user privacy preferences and maintain compliance across different jurisdictions. Here are the key changes: 

  • Restricted Data Processing (RDP) must be enabled byGoogle Ads users to limit how personal data is used for advertising.
  • Universal Opt-Out Mechanisms (UOOMs) will be automatically honored using opt-out signals from tools like the Global Privacy Control (GPC). This means users can opt out of personalized ads across all websites with a single setting.
  • Tools such as Customer Match, Audiences API, and Floodlight Remarketing Lists may see reduced effectiveness as more users opt out of data processing.
  • Compliance Requirements must be recognized and respect users’ privacy preferences, updating their data handling practices accordingly.

For organizations that use Google Ads and Analytics, it’s normal to have a mixed response to these changes:

The Good Stuff: Compliance, User Trust, and Satisfaction

  • Alignment with Privacy Laws: These updates demonstrate a commitment to complying with evolving privacy laws, which helps build trust with your audience.
  • Enhanced Reputation: Adhering to strict privacy standards can enhance your reputation as a responsible and ethical organization.
  • Consumer Confidence: By respecting user privacy and offering more control over personal data, you can increase consumer confidence in your brand.

The Challenges and Concerns

  • Implementation Efforts: Updating systems to comply with restricted data processing and universal opt-out mechanisms will require significant time and resources.
  • Training and Development: Staff will need to be trained on the new settings and compliance requirements, adding to the operational burden.
  • Impact on Marketing Effectiveness: The restrictions on using personal data for personalized advertising and remarketing could impact the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. This might lead to lower conversion rates and reduced ROI from advertising efforts.
  • Less Relevant Ads: Users who opt out of personalized ads will see more general ads, which may not be as relevant to their interests. This can make it harder for businesses to reach their target audience effectively.

What Does My Organizations Need to Do to Respond?

It is important to take proactive steps to ensure compliance with these new privacy laws. Here are some key actions:

  1. Review and Update Data Practices: Regularly review data collection, storage, and usage practices to ensure they align with current privacy laws.
  2. Implement RDP: For businesses using Google Ads, enable Restricted Data Processing to limit the use of personal data in advertising.
  3. Adopt Universal Opt-Out Mechanisms: Ensure your systems can recognize and honor UOOMs like the Global Privacy Control to respect user privacy preferences automatically.
  4. Educate and Train Staff: Ensure that all employees understand the new privacy requirements and how to implement them effectively.
  5. Update Privacy Policies: Clearly communicate your data practices and user rights in your privacy policy, making sure it is easily accessible to users.

The Privacy Evolution

The trend of stringent privacy laws and growing consumer awareness is likely to expand nationwide, creating a more complex but beneficial environment for consumers and businesses. Federal legislation could simplify compliance and ensure robust privacy protections. Regulators, business leaders, and consumer advocates must work together to continually assess data practices and ensure unified privacy protection.

Organizations need to proactively update their data practices, train staff, and implement necessary tools to stay compliant and maintain consumer trust. Balancing these aspects will be key to navigating the evolving privacy landscape successfully.

HyFyve can help you navigate these changes and protect your customers’ data effectively. Contact us when you’re ready to get started.

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