GDPR: Basics

When is GDPR coming into effect?

25th May. You will need to finalise your GDPR compliancy with Improve Digital before then. The scope of GDPR is the use of user data, while the E-Privacy directive continues to govern the use of cookies in Europe. Therefore GDPR does not change existing legislation governing the use of cookies.

What has Improve Digital done to be ready?

We worked closely with the IAB to define the approach to GDPR regulations within the ecosystem, provided you with a GDPR Compliance pack and broadcasted a GDPR Webinar to share more information. This technical instruction guide provides details on the consent mechanism implementation in order to enable us to process your ad impressions in a GDPR-compliant way.

Why is this important?

Improve Digital is preparing to process data in the auction process under both Legitimate Interest and Consent, based on your chosen ground for processing. If you are not familiar with the choice your organisation has made please contact your DPO or legal department to find out. In the case where active consent is required (Opt-in countries) and user consent is not given on the website, ads will be delivered without key user information. As many buying parties do not buy impressions without this data, this can have a severe impact on your Programmatic revenue.

As a publisher, what do you need to do next?

If consent is your grounds of processing user data, you will need to implement either the IAB Consent & Transparency or the Improve Digital frameworks.

If your ground of processing user data is 'legitimate interest', please confirm this by mail to us so we can arrange this for you in the Improve platform. This setting will apply to all impressions we receive. You can easily override this setting by implementing the consent mechanism in placement tags as described below.

How to obtain consent and implement the consent mechanism? 

Publishers should implement a consent management provider (CMP) on their website. The IAB provides a list of registered vendors here which are compatible with the IAB framework:

What options does a user have?

The consent the visitor gives has implications on the data we collect, that can be stored and used for delivering advertising. A website visitor should have the following options: 






The Data Subject has expressly chosen not to permit their personal data to be processed 

Represented by a “0” value. 

Key user data removed.


The user agrees to share their data 

Represented by a “1” value. 

Represented by a “1” value. User data is processed.


The user has not indicated whether or not they consent or decline to the processing of their personal data – likely no CMP is implemented and the publisher decides to use their own ‘legitimate interest’.

Represented by Null/No value. In case the publisher uses Legitimate Interest as legal base to control and process data. In case the publisher uses Consent as legal base, Improve Digital will utilise the geographic location of the website visitor to ascertain the national default for the data subject’s country of origin (default opt-in or by default opt-out).


Next steps... 

  • Read about implementing GDPR as a publisher here.
  • FAQs about GDPR are available here.
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