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The Effect GDPR Has on Cookie Policies

The Effect GDPR Has on Cookie Policies

If you have visited any website after the enactment of the GDPR, you have probably seen a message about the fact that the website uses cookies. This message is a part of GDPR compliance and if you have a website, you should also consider the enactment of a new website cookie policy.

To understand the specifics, it’s first important to examine what cookies are and how they could affect the collection of personal data.

What Is a Website Cookie?

A website cookie is a text file put on your computer whenever you visit a website. The aim of the cookie is to store data so that the next time you visit the respective website, some of the information will be loaded immediately. Cookies ensure fast loading time and a degree of service personalization.

In some instances, cookies can be used in a way that makes the website visitor identifiable. When this happens, GDPR compliance is going to be on the table.

Cookies could be used for analytics, the delivery of marketing messages, as well as functional website services. For the collection of information to be lawful, websites will have to ask for the consent of visitors. Otherwise, the use of such cookies will have to be discontinued.

GDPR Compliance and the Website Cookie Policy

When you go through the lengthy GDPR text, you will see cookies being mentioned only once. This happens in Recital 30 of the GDPR.

According to the text, online identifiers like cookies could be associated to natural persons. Thus, whenever cookies are utilized in a way that can potentially get someone identified, they are subjected to GDPR regulations.

To become compliant, websites should either stop collecting information via cookies or they should rely on explicit consent to continue operating in the same way. This means asking for consent to be given as soon as a person enters the website and also outlining the use of cookies in the terms and conditions.

One of the simplest things is to have a note that allows the person to either accept or reject the cookie policy. It’s not ok to feature solely a button for agreement. Under GDPR, this is a violation of an individual’s right to prevent businesses from using their personal data.

It’s also important for the people who have already given their consent to be provided with an option to withdraw it.

To sum it up, here’s how compliance can be ensured as far as cookie policies go:

  • Inform website visitors immediately that cookies may be used to collect their personal information
  • Give them a chance to either accept or decline the collection of such personal data
  • Have terms and conditions that outline what cookies are and how they’re going to be used by the website
  • Give website visitors a chance to withdraw their cookie usage consent, even if they’ve agreed to it beforehand

Things may seem a bit confusing but consent management is one of the most important parts of the GDPR. Cookie usage is just a tiny fraction of it. to run an online business or a content-based website, you should rely on a template or plugins that simplify the process of getting explicit consent/allowing people to opt out. Take it one step at a time. Enhance your terms and conditions and work on the creation of a consent form that could be modified for different purposes – it will come in handy as far as ensuring GDPR compliance goes.


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