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  5. Why can the consent status “granted” be assigned in Google Ads Conversion Upload even without the user’s explicit consent?

Why can the consent status “granted” be assigned in Google Ads Conversion Upload even without the user’s explicit consent?

Google Ads upload and the consent mode

etracker considers to justify the conversion upload to Google Ads by etracker on the legal basis of Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f) or lit. a) GDPR.  Section 25 TTDSG is not relevant in cookie-less mode (with the use of cookies taking into account the consent of the data subject) due to the lack of access to information in the user’s end device. This is the conclusion of the legal expertise of ePrivacy Consult as part of the audit and award of the ePrivacy Seal for standard data processing with etracker analytics.

Google’s Consent Mode does not offer an option for the legal basis of legitimate interest. Therefore, the assignment to the consented status “granted” is functionally appropriate, as the processing is lawful according to the EU GDPR and TTDSG or Cookie Directive. It does not matter which purposes are associated with this, because the data set for the upload is deliberately reduced in such a way that purposes beyond conversion tracking are excluded. Functions such as “target group segments” and “remarketing” are not possible using the conversion upload and would require the transfer of other identifiers or the implementation of Google tags, see e.g. https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/9199250?hl=en. Google itself has published documents in this regard, in which the upload is explicitly advertised as meeting strict data protection requirements, see https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/_qs/documents/4066/comdirect_Offline_Conversion_Tracking_07.pdf.

The legality of the assignment to “granted” would only be problematic if consent for the conversion upload was explicitly requested in the consent dialog and the associated data processing with etracker analytics was not justified in the privacy policy by the overriding legitimate interest, but by the consent. Only in this case would the conversion upload with the status “granted” contradict the actual declaration of intent or legal basis for the web analysis. This was already the case before the introduction of Google Consent Mode. In this respect, consent mode does not change the legal assessment. In connection with the conversion upload, consent mode only changes the fact that the legality of the associated data processing must also be made clear in the upload.