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The Rise of Consent Management Platforms

Consent management platforms, which help to manage users’ consent with a site’s privacy policy, have gained notice as a tool for a post-GDPR world. Here’s what you need to know.

You probably are familiar with the term CMS, meaning “content management system.”

But if you’re concerned with complying with increasingly prominent privacy regulations (and your users’ awareness of them), there’s another acronym starting with the letter C that you might want to get familiar with: the consent management platform (CMP).

The concept slightly predates the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but it has gained momentum as organizations look for solutions to improve their compliance with that regulation and others. The benefit of such an approach is that a CMP, which manages the consent message around whether a user agrees to accept a site’s use of cookies, helps organizations avoid the hassle and challenge of building a solution for themselves.

The solution is one that has been worked on by the Interactive Advertising Bureau as part of its GDPR compliance toolkit. IAB verifies solution providers and charges such providers a fee.

Their use has grown considerably in recent months, particularly among major digital publishers. According to Adzerk, a CMP solutions provider, 19.3 percent of the top 10,000 sites in the United Kingdom use one, and 16.9 percent of equivalent U.S. sites do the same. Narrowed down to publishers only, the number rises to 36.2 percent in the U.K. and 33.3 percent in the U.S. As eMarketer notes, those numbers have jumped considerably since last summer.

A recent study [registration] from the International Association of Privacy Professionals found a rising interest in data consent tools, a year after they were found to be the least-likely tool to be used. The report noted that 27 percent of respondents had acquired such a tool, and another 14 percent were looking into it.

Adzerk Marketing Director Chris Shuptrine told eMarketer last fall that the technology is still relatively new and partly reflects a lack of understanding of the risks generated by GDPR and similar regulations. He noted that those who run advertising should be more aware of the risks.

“Even though a conservative approach is to ask for consent for all cookies, few companies are doing so,” Shuptrine said. “But for publishers that show ads, it’s more imperative.”

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