GDPR & Its Effects On Major Digital Advertising Platforms

Last updated: September 28, 2023 | by Aleesha Jacob
gdpr effects

This post was most recently updated on September 28th, 2023

With the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), major digital advertising platforms have undergone significant transformations to comply with data protection and privacy norms. This comprehensive guide aims to offer in-depth insights into the extensive impact of GDPR on such platforms, illuminating the shifts in advertising strategies, user data management, and overall operational protocols.

Understanding GDPR

GDPR, which came into effect on May 25, 2018, is a regulation in EU law that protects the privacy and personal data of EU and EEA citizens. It mandates the transparent use of information and empowers individuals with control over their personal data.

A few interesting statistics from MonetizeMore’s Consent Management Service

Within our list of 100s of publishers that partner with MonetizeMore, we had the following statistics regarding GDPR. 23.3% of users were from the EU while 85.3% of these EU users already previously consented to the MonetizeMore Consent Management Platform (CMP) disclaimer.

Of the EU users that were new to each site or didn’t consent before, 44.8% consented and 55.3% did not consent to the CMP disclaimer.

Impact on Digital Advertising Platforms

GDPR & Its Effects On Major Digital Advertising Platforms MonitizeMore

  1. Enhanced User Consent Major advertising platforms now prioritize obtaining explicit user consent for collecting and processing personal data. This shift ensures the ethical use of consumer information, strengthening user trust in advertising platforms.
  2. Stricter Data Management Protocols GDPR has obligated platforms to implement stringent data management and security protocols, including data encryption and periodic security audits, to prevent unauthorized access and data breaches.
  3. Modification in Advertising Strategies Digital advertisers have refined their advertising strategies, focusing more on user-centric and context-based advertisements, reducing reliance on personalized ads that necessitate extensive data processing.

Adaptations by Major Advertising Platforms

Major platforms like Google and Facebook have introduced several modifications to align with GDPR requirements.


Google has been accused of privacy violations in multiple countries related to their location tracking settings. The digital advertising giant could face up to $4 billion in fines from the EU.

Consumer groups involved in the complaints claim that Google is using deceptive practices with regards to their location-tracking user options. Allegations state that Google does not inform users thoroughly on how their location data is used.

Google’s Adaptations include:

  • Privacy-Centric Solutions: Google has introduced privacy-centric solutions like Privacy Sandbox to facilitate advertisements without compromising user data.
  • Enhanced Transparency: Google provides detailed insights into data usage and processing, allowing users to manage their privacy settings effectively.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Google. One study believes that the company is amongst the biggest benefactors of GDPR in Europe. A study conducted by Cliqz and Ghostery using data from checked the use of trackers before and after GDPR implementation.

Be sure to read the full report for further details here.


GDPR certainly had a negative impact on Facebook, that and a few other misfortunate events over the past year for the social media giant. A GDPR watch group from Ireland wants Facebook to be held accountable. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) says Facebook should pay a fine of $1.63 billion because of the hack. If the DPC can successfully prosecute Facebook, they will be the first company to pay a penalty of more than $1 billion because of GDPR.

Apart from hacks and impeding GDPR fines, Facebook also indicated that they lost approximately 1 million monthly users due to GDPR implementations. A million users might seem like a lot, however, compared to their 367 million monthly European and 2.2 billion total users, they are doing just fine.

Facebook’s Adaptations include:

  • Advanced Consent Mechanisms: Facebook has revamped its user consent mechanisms, making them more transparent and user-friendly.
  • Data Minimization: Facebook has adopted data minimization practices, processing only the necessary data required for delivering services.


X/Twitter has implemented substantial modifications to comply with GDPR guidelines, ensuring the protection and privacy of user data. These adaptations focus on transparency, user control, data protection, and lawful processing of information.

  1. Enhanced Privacy Policies: X/Twitter has refined its privacy policies, offering users a clear, comprehensive understanding of how their data is collected, used, shared, and managed. These policies articulate the types of data gathered and the purposes for which it is processed, aligning with GDPR’s requirement for transparency.
  2. User Control and Consent: To empower users with control over their personal data, X/Twitter has developed advanced consent mechanisms and user-friendly privacy settings. Users have the flexibility to manage data preferences, opt-in or opt-out of data processing activities, and decide the level of data they want to share.
  3. Data Minimization and Security: Adhering to GDPR’s principles of data minimization and security, X/Twitter processes only the necessary data needed to provide services and has implemented stringent security measures. These include encryption, secure data transfer, and regular security assessments to prevent unauthorized access and data breaches.
  4. Data Portability and Access: X/Twitter enables users to access and retrieve their data effortlessly, complying with GDPR’s data portability requirements. Users can download their data and are provided with mechanisms to transfer it to other services if they wish to do so.
  5. Regular Audits and Compliance Checks: X/Twitter conducts periodic audits and assessments to ensure continuous adherence to GDPR norms. It remains committed to maintaining high standards of data protection and promptly addressing any discrepancies or violations.

By integrating these GDPR adaptations, X/Twitter strives to foster a secure, transparent, and user-centric platform, prioritizing user privacy and data integrity.

Implications for Advertisers and Publishers

Advertisers and publishers face the challenge of creating compelling advertising content while respecting user privacy. However, this constraint has led to innovations in advertising models and strategies, such as:

  • Contextual Advertising Focusing on the context of websites and user interaction patterns, contextual advertising has gained prominence, allowing advertisers to target audiences without infringing on their privacy.
  • Performance-Based Advertising Advertisers are leveraging performance-based advertising models, emphasizing user actions like clicks and conversions over intrusive data collection methods.

Challenges and Opportunities

The stringent norms of GDPR present both challenges and opportunities for digital advertising platforms. The constraints on data utilization compel platforms to innovate and explore alternative advertising models and strategies, paving the way for a more sustainable and user-friendly advertising ecosystem.

  • Challenges
    • The limitation on data access hinders the ability to deliver highly personalized ads, potentially impacting advertising efficacy and revenues.
    • The need for continuous compliance efforts demands considerable investments in time and resources.
  • Opportunities
    • The emphasis on user consent and transparency fosters user trust and loyalty, contributing to a more positive brand image.
    • The exploration of new advertising models and strategies opens avenues for diversification and growth in the advertising sector.

What Now?

The enactment of GDPR has prompted a paradigm shift in the digital advertising sector, emphasizing user privacy, data security, and transparency. While it poses certain challenges, such as restrictions on data access and the need for continuous compliance, it also offers myriad opportunities for innovation, growth, and the development of a more user-centric advertising ecosystem. By adhering to GDPR guidelines, major digital advertising platforms not only ensure legal compliance but also contribute to the evolution of a more ethical and user-friendly digital landscape.

Elevate Your Advertising Strategy with GDPR Compliant Solutions! 🔐

In programmatic AdTech, where data privacy and user consent are paramount, partnering with a GDPR compliant AdTech partner is no longer an option—it’s a necessity! Choose MonetizeMore, a leader in the AdTech space, renowned for its unwavering commitment to GDPR compliance, robust data protection, and innovative advertising solutions. 🌐

Why Partner with MonetizeMore?

  • Comprehensive Compliance: Navigate the complexities of data protection laws with our extensive expertise in GDPR compliance.
  • Innovative Solutions: Leverage our cutting-edge advertising technology to maximize revenue while respecting user privacy.
  • Enhanced User Trust: Build and maintain user trust with transparent and ethical data practices.

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