You might have seen some cookie walls over the internet. Mostly websites in the EU due to the GDPR. There is some confusion regarding this topic. In this article we will explain you whether it’s allowed or not.
What is a cookie wall?
A cookie wall is a popup that is being placed on a website to inform users about the cookie use on the website. You are not able to reject these cookies. You can only accept and proceed. Actually, web owners are obligating users to only be able to use the website when they conform with all of the cookies.
Dutch news website. Translated as: Before you proceed we ask your consent for placing cookies to be able to provide a working website.
So are they allowed?
The answer to the question “Are they allowed” is a difficult one! In the past it was only forbidden for public sector websites, but now with the GDPR it seems it isn’t allowed for other websites also. The current ePrivacy Directive also now refers to article 7 (“Conditions for permission”) of the GDPR and permission should be given freely. This means a website should be accessible for everyone and not merely for those who accept all (tracking) cookies.
Doesn’t the new ePrivacy Regulation take care of this?
Yes and no. The new ePrivacy Regulation will come into effect in 2019/2020, and will repeal the old e-Privacy Directive. The provisions of this Regulation particularise and complement the general rules on the protection of personal data. In the current draft of the Regulation the use of a cookiewall once again seems to be allowed:
“Access to specific website content may still be made conditional on the consent to the storage of a cookie or similar identifier. Not all cookies are needed in relation to the purpose of the provision of the website service. Some are used to provide for additional benefits of the website operator. In some cases, making access to website content conditional to consent to the use of such cookies may be considered to be disproportionate. This is for example the case for websites providing certain services, such as those provided by public authorities, where the user could be seen as having few or no other options but to use the service, and thus having no real choice as to the usage of cookies.”
However, this is still a draft and under discussion!
Download our plugin to use a GDPR friendly alternative to these cookie walls, if you’re using one!