GDPR Cookie Consent

GDPR cookie consent: What’s really required and how to manage them?

It is not difficult to relate cookies with privacy legislation and data laws. However, most of the time, people live with this misconception that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has replaced the cookie law. In fact, nothing as such has happened. Instead, GDPR and ePrivacy Directive work together, complementing one another.

Thus, it must be kept in mind that the cookie law is still applicable. Also, it not just applies to cookies but extensively speaks about other types of technology as well that stores or accesses information on the devices of users.

Having said that, in this post, you will get familiar with everything regarding GDPR cookie consent. Furthermore, you will also get to know what is needed to integrate this consent and how easily you can manage it. So, let’s find out.

What is the cookie law

The cookie law, also known as the ePrivacy Directive 2002/58/EC, was established to implement guidelines for protecting electronic privacy, such as cookie usage and email marketing.

Keep in mind that if you are using cookies, you will have to consider complying with the GDPR. This is because, in the legal jargon, the cookie law is known as “lex specialis”, meaning that it has taken the preference over the GDPR.

GDPR Requirements

The connection of the EU cookie directive and GDPR is the foundation to accomplish cookie consent compliance between the updates to the EU ePrivacy Directive and the integration date for the GDPR. Eventually, the juncture of these two laws offers guidance for websites that are using cookies for the benefit of their own purposes and their visitors. It also talks about how and when consent has to be acquired.

The EU Cookie Directive offers the present framework for sites trying to lawfully put and use cookies through the browsers of visitors. It became operative in 2011 and reformed the existing ePrivacy Directive. There were strategies to update the EU’s management of cookies in association with the EU GDPR. However, the changes to the ePrivacy Directive are now anticipated to follow the GDPR’s implementation date. Also, they will be known as ePrivacy Regulation, and there will be a section covering cookie consent.

Though the GDPR doesn’t refer to cookies, it still has updated the EU privacy law for the personal data of identifiable natural persons. With this, the GDPR has extended extra protection to site visitors when the cookies set are used to accumulate and use the personal data that the GDPR is protecting.

Thus, cookies will be regarded as personal data when it authorizes the identification of people through their devices. Websites that are using such cookies that meet the threshold of GDPR will have to meet the high standard for collecting and processing data as set by the GDPR. Although operators may have to depend upon some basis to ensure lawful processing, express consent is anticipated to be the primary system to justify the operations.

The Change in Cookie Consent by the GDPR

Under the current EU cookie law, most of the site operators have offered a clear notice regarding the use of cookies on the site. It could be simply a banner on the landing page or a link to a different page that contains in-depth information. 

However, for cookies that the GDPR covers, this activity will not be sufficient. At its core, the operators will have to make three significant changes, such as:

  • Express Consent

Since implied content is not going to be enough, there will have to be an apparent opt-in or affirmative action tired up with the required transparency level to permit the collection and use of data.

  • Record-Keeping

Next, assuming that the visitors will give consent just because they stumbled upon the cookie banner will not be enough either. You will have to curate a system to track the visitors’ consent so as to fulfil the accountability principle of the GDPR. Also, it will help offer the consent audit trail to the government in case there comes an inquiry for a valid justification for data processing.

  • Easy Withdrawal of Consent

Withdrawing the consent should be as easy for your visitors as giving it in the first place. If you are asking for consent on a webpage, you will also have to come up with a similarly effortless way to let your customers and visitors withdraw their cookie consent.

If you think you are well-familiar with the rules and lawful updates of the GDPR cookie consent, the information will still not be enough. To comply with the GDPR cookie consent, you will have to execute all of the rules and manage the same.

Here are some steps that will help you improve the GDPR cookie consent compliance:

  • Understand the Type of Cookie You Are Using

To categorize the cookies and simplify them in the cookie policy on the site, you will have to know the type you are using. This can be easily done through a cookie audit. 

Keep in mind that you will have to sort every cookie into a specific category on the basis of the purpose it is fulfilling. This way, you can acquire a granular cookie consent. Moreover, you will have to evaluate your use of cookies and comprehend if every cookie deployed is required. And then, stop using those cookies that don’t serve your site.

  • Creating and Displaying GDPR Cookie Policy

Once you are aware of the cookies you are using and the categories they come under, you will have to create a GDPR-compliant cookie policy. While doing so, make sure the policy is meeting all of the standards of the GDPR transparency, such as being clear, comprehensive and accessible to visitors.

Furthermore, you must also ensure that you are making the cookie policy as understandable and user-friendly as possible.

  • Configuration and Activation of the Cookie Consent Banner

The next step in the process is to compile all of the accumulated information into a GDPR-compliant cookie consent banner. Now, you can create banners in a variety of formats based on your business preferences and needs. 

Once you have zeroed down upon the design and features of your banner, the next step should be implementing it on the site. This consent banner should appear instantly somebody accesses your site. However, you will also have to ensure that users are able to access the site even if the banner is around or without consent to the cookie collection.

To ensure adequate GDPR compliance, you will also have to block every non-required cookie from running before deploying the banner.

  • Tracking and Recording of Cookie Consents

With the cookie consent banner in place, you will have to begin with the collection and recording of consents. You must keep the user preferences and consent logs in a location that is easily accessible. Therefore, you will be able to effortlessly retrieve the GDPR compliance proof in a situation of a claim.

GDPR cookie consent plugin

Now that you are ready to implement a GDPR cookie consent on your website, you would be looking for an easy method to do so, isn’t it? Here is WordPress Cookie Consent Plugin for GDPR & CCPA

With this tool, you can effortlessly comply with the GDPR cookie consent of the EU and the Do Not Sell opt-out regulations by CCPA. Furthermore, you can comply with an array of other policies as well with this plugin, such as:

  • The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
  • Lei Geral de Protecao de Dados Pessoais (LGPD)
  • AAP
  • CNIL
  • PECR
  • DPA

And more.

On top of that, some of the efficient and useful features of this plugin are:

  • Easy editing of cookie information
  • Customization of cookie notice display
  • Powerful cookie detector tool
  • Intelligent lookup database
  • Automatic categorization of cookies
  • Location-based cookie notice display
  • Viewing of reports and consent logs
  • Support of multiple languages

Wrapping Up

The GDPR cookie consent is a consistent process for businesses operating across the world. If you are using cookies and have to comply with either the cookie law or the GDPR, you will have to evaluate your tracking methods and implement compliance measures adequately. Use the WordPress Cookie Consent Plugin for GDPR & CCPA and get started today. 

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