Sharing consent from BlueConic to Google Tag Manager

BlueConic can be set up to let your customers and visitors manage their own privacy. This article details how to share privacy consent information from BlueConic to another system and how to activate it. For example, this way you can have BlueConic prevent a tag manager from serving tags to customers or visitors whose consent is needed first. And, alternatively, you can greenlight the serving of tags to customers or visitors whose consent is known.

This example use Google Tag Manager (GTM), GDPR, and the Facebook Pixel, but the general idea works similarly for other systems, regulations, and tags:

  • Collect consent information in BlueConic.
  • Create one or more Segments of visitors with similar consent.
  • Send the segments to the other system.
  • Activate the segments in the other system.

Collect consent information in BlueConic

Start off by setting up privacy management in BlueConic. This will give you a clear picture of the Objectives and Consents you have at your disposal. For example, you could end up with Objectives like this:

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Let's focus on the objective "Web Retargeting" specifically. We would like to use this Objective to capture consent for being retargeted on web channels. And based on this information we want to regulate whether or not retargeting scripts, e.g. the Facebook Pixel tag, are added to the page.

Create Segments of visitors with similar consent

With the Objectives set up, we now create a Segment in BlueConic to define customers that we want to prevent from getting the Facebook Pixel tag served.

We're about to set up a Segment to prevent serving, as a precaution. This means that tags will be served unless BlueConic prevents it. If, for whatever reason, consent information never reaches the tag manager, tags will still be served by default (since nothing is preventing it).

For our purpose we create a Segment "Consent required but not given or refused: Web Retargeting" as below:

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This Segment contains customers that are in the privacy legislation GDPR and that either didn't consent yet, or that have actively refused consent, combined with all customers that actively refused consent with respect to the Objective "Web Retargeting." These are the customers we want to prevent from getting the Facebook Pixel tag served.

Send the Segments to the other system

Now that we have a Segment in BlueConic, we turn our focus to sending this Segment to the other system, in our example Google Tag Manager. Start by making sure BlueConic can send Segments to GTM using the Google Tag Manager Connection.

Map associated segments in the export goal:

  1. Select Associated segments from the map type pulldown menu.
  2. Click All associated segments. A pop-up opens.
  3. Activate Only selected segments to make a custom selection of Segments.
  4. Select the Segment we created earlier: "Consent required but not given or refused: Web Retargeting".
  5. Enter "bc_no_consent_retargeting" as replacement value for the Segment name. This unique string of characters allows us to safely use "contains" in a GTM trigger.

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Don't forget to activate and save the export goal and the Connection!

Activate the Segments in the other system

With the BlueConic Connection active, our Segment should now be communicated to Google Tag Manager. Verify this in GTM by entering preview mode and opening your website. Under Variables you should see an event named BlueConic. Among the information sent by this event is the variable "BcSegments." Depending on whether or not you are considered to be part of the segment, this should contain the replacement segment value "bc_no_consent_retargeting":

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Events are listed under Summary in the order they occurred:

  1. The "Page View" event occurred first.
  2. "DOM Ready" event was next.
  3. Then the "BlueConic" event was fired by the GTM Connection we created.
  4. Finally "Window Loaded" is the last event registered.

This order is very important, as it determines WHEN Segment information is available. The "BcSegments" variable will not have a value until after the BlueConic event has occurred. Verify this by clicking one of the other events. Before the BlueConic event the variable is undefined, after the event it has a value.

We need to take this into account when defining triggers in GTM. Since "Window loaded" is the first (native) GTM event where the "BcSegments" variable could have a value, we have to create a trigger based off the "Page View - Window Loaded" event. Have the trigger fire when "BcSegments" does not contain "bc_no_consent_retargeting." In other words: this trigger will fire when the window is loaded, unless BlueConic signals to prevent it.

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Now you have a trigger that you can use to fire tags in GTM! Define your tag as usual, and add "Consent given or not needed - Web Retargeting" as a firing trigger.

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Done!

From now on, the Facebook Pixel will only be added to a page when your customers gave consent or when consent is not needed. You can verify this in preview mode:

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Under Summary, you can see whether or not the Facebook Pixel fired on the page.

Remember to always consult your organization's legal and/or privacy experts to determine what is required for your specific organization.

 

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