News | Information democracy | Privacy and data protection | Online tracking industry / AdTech | Privacy and confidentiality

CJEU on cookies: ‘Consent or be tracked’ is not an option

European Digital Rights (EDRi) welcomes the CJEU's confirmation that under the current data protection framework, cookies can only be set if users have given consent that is valid under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

By EDRi · October 1, 2019

Today, on 1 October 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) gave its ruling on “cookie consent” requirements. European Digital Rights (EDRi) welcomes the CJEU’s confirmation that under the current data protection framework, cookies can only be set if users have given consent that is valid under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This means consent needs to be given by a clear affirmative act establishing a freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of a user’s agreement.

'Consent or be tracked' is not an option. The CJEU ruling spells it out for the industry and calls for clear rules on confidentiality of our communications.

EU Members States need to finally move forward with legislating this practice, and take the much needed ePrivacy Regulation out of the EU Council's closet.'

Diego Naranjo, Head of Policy at EDRi

This ruling is a positive step towards protecting people from hidden commercial surveillance techniques deployed by the advertisement industry. It is, however, crucial to also urgently finalise the new ePrivacy Regulation that complements the GDPR in strengthening the privacy and security of electronic communications.

Read more:

CJEU press release: Storing cookies requiresinternet users’ active consent – A pre-ticked checkbox is therefore insufficient (01.10.2019)
https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2019-10/cp190125en.pdf

CJEU ruling C-673/17 (01.10.2019)
http://curia.europa.eu/juris/documents.jsf?num=C-673/17

Video: Cookies (05.09.2016)
https://edri.org/privacyvideos-cookies/

EU Council considers undermining ePrivacy (30.06.2018)
https://edri.org/eu-council-considers-undermining-eprivacy/

Civil society calls Council to adopt ePrivacy now (05.12.2018)
https://edri.org/civil-society-calls-council-to-adopt-eprivacy-now/

Freedom to be different: How to defend yourself against tracking (27.09.2016)
https://edri.org/freedom-to-be-different/

e-Privacy revision: Document pool
https://edri.org/eprivacy-directive-document-pool/