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Cookie consent - UK vs. Austria

January 10, 2019

In November 2018 and yesterday, I blogged about how the UK ICO found The Washington Post's cookie consent options failed to satisfy the consent requirements under the GDPR.

 

In November 2018, the Austrian Data Protection Authority (DPA) examined a complaint concerning the cookie consent options offered on an Austrian newspaper’s website and found  the cookie consent options valid. Similar to the Washington Post, the Austrian website had three options: (1) accept cookies for analytics and advertising purposes and have full, complimentary website access; (2) refuse cookies and obtain access to only limited content on the website; or (3) pay a monthly subscription to obtain full access to the website without accepting the use of cookies and similar tracking technologies.

 

For consent to be valid, it must be voluntary. The DPA found cookie consent to be voluntary and therefore valid because there were no significant negative consequences to refusing consent.  If a reader does not want to accept cookies, then (a) they can pay for a monthly subscription that was not expensive, or (b) they can use an alternative source of information (see decision hosted on Mega.nz). 

 

Not surprisingly, the DPAs are arriving at different decisions. The real question will be which DPA - UK or Austrian - will the other DPAs follow.

 

Image by Andrew Magill on Flickr and licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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