Storing cookies requires internet users’ active granular (specific) consent
A pre-ticked checkbox is therefore insufficient
Answering questions of The Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice, Germany) to interpret the EU law on the protection of electronic communications privacy.2 the EU Court of Justice decides on October 1, 2019 that the consent which a website user must give to the storage of and access to cookies on his or her equipment is not validly constituted by way of a prechecked checkbox which that user must deselect to refuse his or her consent.
This decision is unaffected by whether or not the information stored or accessed on the user’s equipment is personal data. EU law aims to protect the user from any interference with his or her private life, in particular, from the risk that hidden identifiers and other similar devices enter those users’ terminal equipment without their knowledge.
The Court notes that consent must be specific so that the fact that a user selects the button to participate in a promotional lottery is not sufficient for it to be concluded that the user validly gave his or her consent to the storage of cookies.
Furthermore, according to the Court, the information that the service provider must give to a user includes the duration of the operation of cookies and whether or not third parties may have access to those cookies.
A clear message to any party storing cookies do no use pre-ticked checkboxes and make choices specific and granular.
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