Hello, my name is Rick Bell. I am a customer data governance consultant for InfoTrust, which is a fancy way of saying I work with clients to help them understand the data they are collecting and make informed decisions in the areas of tag governance and privacy compliance. I use InfoTrust’s proprietary technology Tag Inspector to gather data and assist my clients.
If you’re a Digital Privacy Officer (DPO) of a brand with 50, 100, or even thousands of web properties, how do you understand what platforms are loading for users on all those properties? Is the data collected compliant? Are internal processes being followed? Is your consent management platform functioning as expected?
This is a lot of responsibility to grapple with! Oftentimes large organizations are divided into multiple regions or brands with different marketing managers who have various objectives for the sites. This adds to the complexity as you may have multiple technologies running across the organization and various regional data privacy laws to contend with.
How do you wrangle all this data collection to be sure your organization is compliant?
Well, I have the rope and I have seen it deadly effective and efficient in action: it is the Governance Module in Tag Inspector. The Governance Module is based on our longstanding and award-winning Scanner technology.
Tag Inspector Scanner has been around for years, answering critical questions for organizations about tag behavior so business and privacy decisions can be made. Scanner clearly lays out what tags are loading, how they are loading, what data they are collecting, where they are loading, and what cookies are being set—all on a per-website basis.
Rather than using the concept of individual scans for each website, the Governance Module gives you data in aggregate. The team here at Tag Inspector loads all the websites you want to monitor and viola—you have a bird’s-eye view of the data collection for your entire organization!
So let’s dive in a little. The first order of business for any DPO is to simply understand what tag platforms are loading across the entire organization. The Governance Module answers this efficiently in the “Tag Summary” view, listing out all the tags discovered across all websites in scope. (This can be 10, 100 or even thousands of websites!)
In the Tag Summary, you have an aggregated view of all the unique platforms loading for users across your domains. Let’s say the Facebook Pixel was not an approved platform for your organization. The Governance Module will list which websites the tag was found on, clicking the “Sites Containing” value.
Here you can see which website(s) is loading the Facebook Pixel, how it is loaded (in this case a tag management system), and what the coverage is of the tag on the website. Here we can see it is loading on nearly every page.
Now come the important questions: which tag management system loaded it, what pages is it on, what data is it collecting, and is it setting cookies? All this and more is answered by clicking on the “Site Domain,” which will open a link to the full Tag Inspector Scan report for the offending website! This is where you can dive deep and find granular details to drive the remediation efforts.
Let’s discuss in further detail the flexibility of the all-important “Tag Summary” view in the Governance Module. It answers more questions than just “what tags are loading on my organizations’ websites?”
Large companies are organized in a variety of ways—and sometimes with different objectives for each website—and for global organizations, various regional privacy regulations to adhere to. We wouldn’t expect that all tags are the same, or approved for every website in your organization on a global level. For this reason, we allow custom filters to be created so you can see what tags are loading for say “all websites in the EU Market,” or all websites related to a particular brand or division.
Grouping filters are a powerful way for you to narrow results based on region, division, market, or any other custom filter which may apply to your organization’s needs.
The most powerful filter in the Tag Summary relates to user consent. It would be disastrous if a tag was loading, collecting data, and setting cookies for users who have not consented to tracking in regions that require it legally. This is even more difficult to understand if that is happening when you are talking about hundreds or thousands of websites.
The genius developers at Tag Inspector have built in a solution to the Governance Module for you to balance-check your consent management platform for accuracy. Ultimately, it’s tags that set cookies, and if a user selects no consent for tracking or cookies, you should see a different set of tags loading. The Governance Module automatically checks and scans your websites for the various consent conditions available, and emulates a user interacting with your sites under those conditions.
Filtering by “None Enabled” or meaning no consent given for any category, leaves you with tags loading across all sites for users who have not consented to tracking. This gives you the ability to track down tags that should not be firing due to misconfiguration or erroneous behavior from your consent management platform.
With the Governance Module, large organizations now have all the data at their disposal to clean up unwanted tags, manage unwanted data collection, and enforce internal standards. These insights can help your organization develop a policy around data collection. But how do you enforce the policy with so many websites? The Governance Module has an answer for that, too: set tag policies!
Policies can be created in the Governance Module for all sites or specific regions/markets. Once tags have been detected, you can define which are approved for your digital properties, and if violations occur you will receive a summary email of all tags and websites that violate your policy. Scans run monthly so you can rest easy knowing Tag Inspector is in the background always checking to see if something new comes up that needs review.
Talk to Us
I have worked with a number of large enterprises using this tool. I have witnessed it effectively remove hundreds of unwanted tags and call out unexpected tag behavior. I only covered the tip of the iceberg—the Governance Module does so much more. If you want to learn more, reach out to us. I would love to personally guide you through the solution in a live demo!