What is 3rd-party tracking?
3rd Party tracking is the implementation of tracking codes from your publishers via containers which are integrated on your website. There are two types which are the on-page tracking code (which tracks page-views) and the conversion tracking code (which tracks conversions). Whenever the on-page and conversion tracking codes are fired, the business logic will be checked and the relevant tracking codes from your publishers will be fired.
Your publishers have many reasons for using their own tracking codes. In the case of an integrated affiliate network, for example, it can be used to identify sub-partners. Publishers may also need their own tracking codes to evaluate their SEA-campaigns. For cashback, retargeting and profiling publishers, they would use their own tracking codes to transmit data about your customers.
Why is 3rd-party tracking relevant for GDPR?
Particularly publishers who work with profiling and retargeting typically use 3rd-party tracking to transmit data on your customers. This can be data on the product they bought, the money they spent, their gender, etc., which can be considered personal data.
Under GDPR, there is no problem with sharing personal data of your customers with third parties, as long as your customers consent to it. When the customer does not consent, however, this data should not be transmitted to your publishers.
What should I do?
Make sure you are aware of a) which publishers are using 3rd-party tracking, b) for what purpose and c) what customer data they are transmitting. If some of your publishers are indeed using 3rd-party tracking for profiling, retargeting or similar activities, we recommend the following:
- Briefly describe the relevant publishers and their marketing strategies on your website.
- Ask your customers to consent to sharing the personal data used. For example, you can do this via a pop-up window, and integrate it in your terms and conditions.
- Ensure that when consent is not given, the containers are not executed.
Please make sure you discuss your policy regarding 3rd-party tracking with your legal advisers. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly via your preferred support channel or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other related articles from our support documentation:
- Third party tracking (article for publishers, with video)
- On-page code
- Implementing the container tag of the on-page code