Cookie management: supervisory authorities require a “reject all” button

The following data protection issue should also be on every company’s mind: Consent management for tracking cookies. Here, too, the supervisory authorities are increasingly active. To reduce your risk of a fine, we recommend that you take certain necessary steps now.

Following the European Justice’s “Planet49” judgment, website operators are required to obtain consent from their users before storing tracking cookies on their devices. In Germany, this rule was clarified by the new sec. 25 TTDSG at the end of 2021. Since then, there has been an ongoing discussion on how the corresponding “cookie banners” must be designed. At the end of 2021, the German data protection authorities issued guidance on a number of related issues, and in February, the Belgian data protection authority found significant parts of the TCF 2.0 cookie standard to be in violation of the GDPR.

In this context, there were doubts whether cookie banners need to contain a “reject all” button. Recently, the Brandenburg data protection authority was the first to come clear on this issue: The user now must have the option of giving or refusing consent with one click. Other designs, especially the two-click solution with a “settings” button, are unlawful.

In the meantime, other supervisory authorities and other EU countries have also stated similar opinions. What is particularly noteworthy: Even Google and Facebook have now changed their cookie banners accordingly (which are also called Consent Management Platform, or “CMP” for short).

What you should do now to reduce your risk of a fine:

  1. Allow your users to refuse consent with one click – we are happy to review your design.
  2. Also make sure that only “necessary” cookies are placed without consent – we can support you with classifying the services you use.
  3. Take this opportunity to check that your Consent Management Platform meets the data protection authorities’ other transparency requirements – let us know if we can check this for you.

Please let us know if you have any further questions about this or if we can support you in any other way.