The Context of the New Privacy Regulation
The new privacy regulation in Europe is mainly represented by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive (ePrivacy). These regulations place a greater focus on transparency and user control over their personal data, including cookies and other tracking technologies.
What are Cookies and Why are they Regulated?
Cookies are small text files that websites send to the user’s browser and are stored on the user’s device. They can be used for various purposes, including tracking browsing activities, personalizing online experiences and collecting analytical data. The regulation was introduced to ensure that users are aware of how their data is being used and to give them control over those operations.
- Explicit Consent: The new regulation requires explicit consent from users before cookies can be activated on their device. This consent must be free, informed and unambiguous.
- User Control: Users must have the ability to control cookies on their device, including the ability to withdraw consent at any time.
- Technical Cookies vs. Profiling Cookies: The distinction between technical cookies (necessary for the functioning of the site) and profiling cookies a> (used for user tracking) is important. Consent for profiling cookies must be specific and distinct from other consents.