Table of Contents Hide
- What Is a Consent Management Platform?
- How Does a Consent Management Platform Work?
- How Consent Management Platforms (CMPs) Can Help Web Analysts Improve User Consent Management
- How to Improve the User Consent Management Process on Your Website
- Choose the Best Consent Management Platform for Your Business
In today’s digital age, virtually everything can be bought and sold online, including personally identifiable information (PII). A recent Forbes article revealed that social security numbers (SSNs) are being sold for $4 on the dark web. But hackers aren’t the only ones selling consumers confidential information.
Businesses often sell their customer’s sensitive data without their consent to marketers. While this may sound harmless, the fact that consumers’ sensitive data is being passed around like a commodity is why data protection laws, like GDPR, came into effect.
These laws have made it mandatory for organizations to request consumer consent before collecting, processing, and sharing consumer data. Failure to comply with these laws can result in fines, penalties, data processing injunctions, and reputational damages.
To comply with the governing privacy and data protection laws, forward-thinking companies invest in consent management platforms (CMPs).
This article will take a deep dive into consent management platforms and explain how these platforms can help Web analysts to improve user consent management. We will also explore how CMPs work and how organizations can improve the user consent management process on their websites. Let’s dive in!
What Is a Consent Management Platform?
A consent management platform, or CMP, is a tool that helps businesses collect and manage personal data and consent information while staying on top of privacy and data protection laws.
A CMP should allow business visitors to give valid consent to use their data and to change their consent preferences quickly.
For business owners, it should allow them to collect, process, store, and share consent and stay compliant. A good consent management platform should also provide analytics and valuable insights into your website’s visitors with the vast amount of data it collects.
The data collection process happens through cookies. Once you visit a website, a cookie banner asks for consent to collect your data. A consent management platform allows businesses to manage user consent transparently.
How Does a Consent Management Platform Work?
The primary purpose of cookies is to store and process visitor information, but not all cookies involve personal data. Cookies can also contain information such as shopping cart items, visited pages, etc. CMPs collect the personal information of website visitors through cookies.
So, how does a CMP work?
A cookie manager displays a pop-up message on a webpage showing users all their options for using cookies. First, it sounds like a cookie burner to site users and asks for their consent to collect and use their data. Users can choose what information they’d want to be organized.
Secondly, a CMP tracker starts its duties once consent is granted. This means that before you agree to share your data, the cookie manager will block any scripts from running and collecting your data.
Note that the CMP doesn’t block cookies. It blocks small programs (scripts, tags, iframes, image tags, tracking beacons, etc.) that run cookies in your browser.
In short, a CMP acts as a mediator between a site visitor and the website services that collect personal data via cookies for various reasons, such as marketing.
Once a cookie banner pops up, users can choose which categories to consent to, accept, or reject cookies. If a user agrees with the cookies, the CMP records user consent on your website and stores them in an online database. Without permission, cookies will remain inactive, and no data will be collected.
How Consent Management Platforms (CMPs) Can Help Web Analysts Improve User Consent Management
CMPs can help Web analysts improve consent management in many ways.
1. Through Consent Collection
At the same time, data subjects must be allowed to accept or reject cookies if they agree to the specified purpose of processing.
The GDPR mandates that valid consent must be given freely. Permission must also be granular, and users must be allowed to selectively decide what their data should be used for—tracking, marketing, A/B testing, analytics, etc.
A CMP will ensure the users’ preferences are remembered and respected. And the data will only be used for the purpose to which the user consented. All the visitor’s consent information is easily accessible from the platform’s admin panel.
A consent management platform makes the consent collection process more accessible and keeps records of the same. Web analysts can use this data to get insights into website visitors’ behavior and do much more.
2. Keeping Records of Collected Data
A consent management platform makes processing user requests less complicated, and keeping these records can be helpful in many ways. For instance, data privacy authorities may ask you to prove that valid consent was collected from the user.
A CMP allows you to keep a record of the following:
- Who gave consent – The name of the user or any other identifier
- When consent was given – An online form that includes the date and time when consent was granted
- What the user consented to – information on what the company is permitted to do with the user’s personal information
- Whether consent was modified or withdrawn – an online record showing when such modifications were made
Web analysts can use this information to learn what they can and can’t do with the users’ data. Consumers can also use this data to determine whether the company is honest with the data they collect and how they use it.
For example, with the unique visitor ID generated by the CMP, users can anonymously request to view and obtain a copy of the consent records from the website operator.
Not only is this crucial for compliance purposes, but it also establishes trust between an organization and its website visitors. Moreover, these records can also help resolve consent disputes down the line and help save the company from penalties and reputational damages.
CMPs can also help web analysts improve consent management by collecting consent and making login data available for auditing.
How to Improve the User Consent Management Process on Your Website
Consent management allows consumers to decide what personal data they want to share with a website.
Many businesses rely on consent management platforms to manage user consent. Companies use consent management platforms to request and receive user consent, store consent information and update the collected consent.
As a business owner, there are steps you can take to improve the consent management process and stay compliant with the governing privacy laws, such as GDPR.
This policy should guide your website users on how you collect, use, store, and share their personal information. It should also explicitly state the user’s right to use their data, including the right to modify or revoke the permission.
2. Secure Your Website
Unfortunately, 83% of small business owners are yet to implement cybersecurity, according to research from Advisor Smith. To be GDPR compliant, you must safeguard consumers’ data against all threats. For this reason, you need to implement data security measures.
And this starts with securing your website. Here are things you can do to ensure your website and book your customers’ data.
- Install antivirus and antimalware software.
- Encourage the use of strong passwords.
- Add an extra layer of protection to your servers
- Back up the data in multiple locations
- Setup a strong firewall
3. Add Data Collection Information to Your Website
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires businesses to be transparent about:
- What data they’re collecting
- How they’re processing it
- How they’re using it
- Who can access it
- Who they’re sharing it with
4. Update Forms on Your Website
If you have any forms on your website (contact, inquiry, subscriptions, etc.) that collect personal data, you must:
- Add an opt-in option – This could be a checkbox or a toggle switch to get user consent to manage their data
- Include a privacy statement – This should guide your site visitors on how you collect, process, store, and share personal information
- Add a checkbox – This should give your customers the option to decide whether to receive correspondence from you or not
5. Add a Cookie Banner
If your site uses non-necessary cookies, you should use a non-cookie banner to get user cookie consent.
According to the GDPR, the language used in cookie banners should be clear and informative. Website owners should include an opt-in option for those who want to grant consent and an opt-out option for those who wish to block cookies from their websites.
6. Find Out Where You Stand with GDPR Compliance
If your business holds and processes the personal data of EU citizens, staying compliant with the GDPR is not optional, and noncompliance could subject you to fines of up to 20 million euros.
The first step to improving consent management on your website should be to check where you stand with GDPR compliance. Analyze your website and determine which GDPR requirements you meet and which should be on your to-do list.
You’ll also need to know the GDPR mandate regarding consent and what is considered valid consent. GDPR requires consent to be opt-in, so keep that in mind when implementing a consent management platform. But the best way to determine where you stand with GDPR compliance is to conduct a GDPR assessment with GDPR assessment software.
Such software will scan your site against the current GDPR requirements and identify your missing criteria.
7. Assess All Third-Party Risks
Many data privacy laws, GDPR included, require organizations to be continuously aware of all the security risks inherent in the operating environment.
Note that some third-party applications and plugins may cause a website not to be GDPR compliant. That said, if you’re using any third-party tool that collects and stores personal data, you’ll want to ensure those apps are GDPR compliant.
Choose the Best Consent Management Platform for Your Business
A consent management platform can benefit your business in many ways. It enables you to stay compliant with the prevailing privacy laws and helps you gain public trust.
Now that you know what a CMP is and how it helps web analysts improve consent management, what’s next? Invest in a robust consent management platform!
The best consent management platform can give you better insights into your website visitors, improve traffic to your site, and help you remain compliant. Axeptio is a fully featured compliance management software that allows businesses to collect consent from customers online through a simplified and automated process. Contact us to learn how we can make your company GDPR compliant, or try it out for free.