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Tuesday, 01 December 2015

ICO says 'implied' consent is valid for EU cookie rules

UK— The Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK data protection watchdog, has updated its guidance on European cookie rules to make clear that “implied” consent is a valid form of consent.

In the run-up to this week’s enforcement of the rules, the focus had been on getting consumers to give explicit consent to the storing and retrieval of website cookie data on their machines.

Now, in revising its guidelines, the ICO says implied consent can be used provided a website owner is satisfied that users are able to understand that their actions will result in cookies being set. “Without this understanding, you do not have their informed consent,” the ICO said.

The updated guidance is here. Previously, the ICO said it was unlikely to prosecute of websites that use first-party cookies for analytics purposes.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Encountered a few sites now that display the cookie usage message and have an 'I Agree' button. Unfortunately, they do not seem to have a 'I Don't Agree' button.
    How can you opt out if you cannot say no to cookie usage?

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  • Hi,

    In response to the comment above, these sites that have an 'I agree' button are basically interpreting the ICO guidelines as they were before the 'implied consent' change was introduced. Until you click on the 'I agree' button these sites will not drop any cookies.

    So by default, every visitor to the site is set as 'I don't agree' until they manually opt in to receiving cookies and select the 'I agree' button.

    It's very confusing and the ICO have added to the confusion by throwing in the implied consent at the 11th hour. All those sites that have developed this strict 'opt in' banner on their websites have arguably gone further than they needed to and could well reduce the functionality of the site for their users as a result.

    Frustrating? Very...

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  • @Anonymous: You will notice that the said websites usually say something along the lines of "please leave the website if you do not agree to cookies being dropped". Most websites would not be able to function correctly without setting cookies...

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