Google AdSense publishers who are based anywhere in the world, be it the EU, United States, Japan - wherever, now need to comply with the EU Cookie law, even if they are not based in the EU.
Google AdSense publishers need to detect if their users are coming from the EU regions and if so, they need to comply with the EU cookie law.
Google said on the AdSense blog:
If your websites are getting visitors from any of the countries in the European Union, you must comply with the EU user consent policy. We recommend you start working on a policy-compliant user consent mechanism today.
According to emails sent out to publishers recently, they have until September 30, 2015 to comply. Here is a copy of the email:
Google Ads Policy Team
We want to let you know about a new policy about obtaining EU end-users’ consent that reflects regulatory and best practice guidance. It clarifies your duty to obtain end-user consent when you use products like Google AdSense, DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange.
Please review our new EU user consent policy as soon as possible. This requires that you obtain EU end users’ consent to the storing and accessing of cookies and other information, and to the data collection, sharing and usage that takes place when you use Google products. It does not affect any provisions on data ownership in your contract.
Please ensure that you comply with this policy as soon as possible, and not later than 30 September 2015.
If your site or app does not have a compliant consent mechanism, you should implement one now. To make this process easier for you, we have compiled some helpful resources at cookiechoices.org.
This policy change is being made in response to best practice and regulatory requirements issued by the European data protection authorities. These requirements are reflected in changes that have been recently made on Google’s own websites.
Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.
The Google Policy Team
I assume many publishers aren't savvy enough to get this done, so expect some useful tools to come out to help.