Consent Management Platform –Everything You Need to Know

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There’s no doubt that the internet has improved our lives immensely. Thanks to the internet, information that would take us years to get is now only a mouse click away.

Yet all is not rosy.

The internet is one of the most unsafe places.

There’s the ever-increasing potential for cyberbullying and harassment. Your private information can also be stolen and used in ways that can be very harmful. 

That’s the reason digital privacy is such a concern to many internet users. 

In a study by Pew Research, 52% of American adults decided against using a product or service because they were concerned about their online privacy.

Now compute that in terms of potential revenue lost.

That’s the reason you and your business need to be ahead of the game in guaranteeing digital privacy. 

And that’s where a consent management platform comes in.

But first…

What is a Consent Management Platform?

A Consent Management Platform (CMP) is a system that requests, receives, and keeps online users’ consent for future reference use. Hence, a CMP is crucial in the data protection wheel.

A Consent Management Platform can also be used as a repository of preferred vendors.

But before you step into the bandwagon, why would you need a CMP?

How Do Consent Management Platforms Work?

CMPs allow sites to collect and manage the user consent required for processing personal data.

They work by;

  • Collecting user consent
  • Display consent forms and banners to the user
  • Block scripts on your website so they can’t run until you obtain consent from the user
  • To prove compliance, they record user consent.

Why would a publisher need a Consent Management Platform?

First, a publisher[5] may need a Consent Management Platform to comply with the law.

Some of the best-known data privacy laws in the world include California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the EU’s GDPR[1] (General Data Protection Regulation).

Legal compliance mainly affects websites that function using an ad-supported operational model. You’re likely to part with up to 4% of your revenues if you keep cookie[6] data without user consent.

But there are other reasons why a publisher may need a Consent Management Platform. 

To build trust with consumers

Americans worry about how their data is collected and how their data is used. According to Pew Research,  79% are either very concerned or somewhat concerned.

How Americans worry about the safety of their personal dataPew Research

A Consent Management Platform which requests user consent and explains data usage can therefore go a long way in building trust with customers.

To boost revenue

When you guarantee digital privacy through a CMP, you’re likely to win the trust of your consumers. And trust is a huge revenue factor.

As proof, a study by Accenture revealed that 46% of consumers who switched companies did so because of trust issues.

What if a CMP violates the rules?

If you are a company that provides consent management solutions, you’ll need to comply with the data privacy laws that govern consent. For instance, the Interactive Advertising Bureau[2] (IAB), based in New York, developed consent requirements and minimum acceptable standards.

The consent regulations and standards developed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau are established under a Transparency[3] and Consent Framework which is also a product of industry-wide consultations. If your company contravenes any of these regulations, you may be warned or suspended and even banned depending on the nature of the violation.

IAB continuously tracks and monitors CMPs looking for signs that may signal breaches and non-compliance. Non-compliance entails a lack of meaningful consent, which includes:

  • Failure to inform users in a manner that sufficiently informs them about data collection
  • Failure to properly inform users about how the data collected will be used

Concerning meaningful consent, IAB and other authorities are particularly keen on the presence of dark patterns. These are subtle digital tricks websites use to obtain consent deceptively.

Is a CMP compulsory?

80% of consumers break up with brands because of using consumer data without

The short answer is no. It’s not a must for your company to have a Consent Management Platform. However, it may be more practical and safer to do so if you want to comply with the law or win the trust of your privacy-conscious users.

As a publisher, if you find acquiring a CMP is difficult, you should know that you can have your own in-house IAB consent management platform. In fact, and this is important, there are some open-source CMPs that can be a great alternative if you’re a publisher who wants to have an in-house CMP.

And if you decide to use a CMP, it’s crucial to ensure your CMP is valid. You can do this by using a validator.

What is the IAB CMP validator?

The transparency and Consent Framework developed by IAB Europe has in-depth technical specifications for CMP’s code.

A CMP validator will therefore check whether the CMP code meets these technical requirements.

Besides, there are essential factors to take notice of as you think of incorporating a CMP.

What do you need to keep in mind?

  • Expect a regulatory environment that will be continuously evolving. Requirements for this year may not be the same two or three years down the line. Much is expected to change based on market feedback.
  • Even if you engage an external CMP, you’ll still have power and control over various functionalities and features. These include the user interface and aspects of information sharing.
  • User consent is not permanent. It expires after 13 months.

CMP suggestions

There are many CMPs out there. Choosing the best one can therefore be frustrating and overwhelming. Here are some top, go-to companies that you may want to consider:

All these are IAB-registered. Remember to ask your Ad Ops[4] management solution if they partner with a CMP. If they do, they can most likely provide technical support to set up your CMP.

CMP adoption rate

Quite expectedly, CMP adoption rates have steadily been on the increase.

According to a study by Kevel 49.8% of American publishers had adopted CMP at the end of the 2nd quarter of 2021.

At the close of the 3rd quarter, however, the adoption rate stood at 52.3%. This represented a positive increase of 5.1%

2nd Quarter-20213rd Quarter-2021% Change


Concerns about digital privacy are not likely to ebb away any time soon. Publishers would do well to meet users’ concerns and comply with any regulatory frameworks. Consent Management Platforms is a solution that makes this easy and practical.

Companies which incorporate CMPs are likely to witness customer trust and hence revenue growth. 

And don’t be worried that users will not give their consent. When requested, users generally do not withhold their consent.

1. General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR] ( GDPR ) GDPR which is also known as the General Data Protection Regulation is a set of personal data regulations created for EU citizens. It changes the way businesses stores and collects data from its users from the EU.
2. Interactive Advertising Bureau. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership is comprised of more than 650 leading media companies, brands, and the technology firms responsible for selling, delivering and optimizing digital ad marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, IAB develops technical standards and solutions. IAB is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., the trade association advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, IAB is headquartered in New York City.
3. Transparency. To be considered transparent, a solution provider must fully disclose all components of the buy including pricing, any related mark ups, delivery, placement level media location, inventory type, inventory mix, and how advanced audience data is being applied and reported. Arbitrage and black box inventory solutions are not transparent.
4. Ad Operations ( Ad Ops ) Ad Operations refers to processes and systems that support the sale and delivery of online advertising. More specifically this is the workflow processes and software systems that are used to sell, input, serve, target and report on the performance of online ads.
5. publisher. Web publishing is the process of publishing original content on the Internet. The process includes building and uploading websites, updating the associated webpages, and posting content to these webpages online. Web publishing is also known as online publishing.

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