Update on the tracking opt-in under GDPR

At the end of April, the independent data protection authorities of the German federal and state governments (DSK) published a position paper on the topic of tracking opt-in. This is not a resolution, but a “position” that an opt-in for cookies will be required in the future. A month before the GDPR came into force, the position paper came as quite a surprise. Because the TMG (Telemediengesetz) §15.3 is a further existing law, according to which pseudonymous user profiles without opt-in are permitted under German law, if an opt-out is offered.

Therefore, from ePrivacy’s point of view, this position is hardly legally enforceable. ePrivacy also sticks to the position that an opt-out model for cookies can be used legally in Germany as in the past.

This is also the view of the authors of the following articles, including BVDW (available only in German):

Apart from the legal situation, the practice develops in a different way. Google for example requires an opt-in for cookies from its partners for certain business models. The IAB EU with the IAB Transparency & Consent Network developed a technical standard for tracking based on both cookie opt-in and legitimate interest as a legal basis.
In practice, more and more companies seem to use an opt-in for cookies in addition to the use of cookies without opt-in on a different legal basis. Even if, according to ePrivacy experts, it is not legally necessary in Germany. The legal interpretation in the UK and France is different: an opt-in for cookies tends to be required, this has been already implemented by many companies as an implied consent or an opt-in model. 

Do you have any further questions related to the GDPR? Please feel free to contact us!