Google gives publishers control on ad platform in compliance with EU data laws

​Alphabet Inc’s Google has sent online publishers an update to its ad-serving platform, which allows them to select advertising tech vendors that comply with new European data privacy laws.

Google is the top vendor of the software that many newspapers and digital media firms use to sell ads on their platforms.

The controls that Google gave publishers are meant to make it easier for them to become compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect on May 25.

Google will give publishers two options for selecting GDPR-compliant ad tech vendors moving forward, including publishers choosing their own providers and a list of around 200 providers that contribute most of the publishers’ revenues.

Four major publisher trade groups had told Google late last month it was forcing media firms that generate revenue from its advertising services to accept unreasonable responsibilities under the GDPR.

The trade groups represent about 4,000 newspapers and media companies, primarily in Europe and North America, including Axel Springer, Telegraph Media Group and the New York Times Co.

The dispute reflects differing interpretations of the GDPR, which imposes a range of new requirements on how companies collect and process personal information about EU users.

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