Cookie consent is a legal requirement that mandates websites to obtain visitors’ consent before placing cookies on their devices. Consent is obtained via a cookie banner that enables visitors to accept or decline cookies on the website.
Your website must provide users based in Europe with the ability to manage the activation of cookies and trackers that collect personal data. To comply with the strict cookie laws, it is very important for businesses to get it right as cookies are subject to robust data rules.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the most critical points to understand regarding the EU’s GDPR, cookies, and data privacy compliance on your website and how Seers’ consent management platform (CMP) takes care of them all.
Go ahead and learn all about it.
What Are Cookies?
Cookies are small text files containing scripts. These scripts store user data for the proper functioning of the website.
Like the password and username, which are used to recognise your computer as you use a computer network. Cookies are used to improve the user’s experience with the website.
What is cookie consent?
Cookie consent, in simple terms, is a permission requirement that website operators must obtain from their visitors in order to activate cookies that handle personal data on their site. Some of these data are considered personally identifiable, therefore the website should notify visitors and obtain their consent before utilising them.
Cookie consent refers to the interaction between your website and end-users in which they decide whether to allow trackers and cookies to be activated to process their personal data.
Under the cookie consent requirements of GDPR, LGPD, and CCPA, it is mandatory for websites to take users’ consent when they land on your website. To comply with these laws it is important to automate this process with most effective solutions.
How does cookie consent work?
Cookie consent works by giving visitors the choice of consent to refuse or set their cookie preferences for that website. When visitors first visit a website, they are frequently asked to consent to cookies via site banners or pop-ups.
Why is cookie consent important?
Data protection authorities scrutinise a website’s cookie consent mechanism and might penalise you if you don’t comply. On the other hand, end-users and consumers are becoming more aware. The level of data privacy of a brand is becoming more closely related to its reputation and ability to attract customers.
Requirements of Cookie Consent Laws
The Cookie Law is a privacy law that mandates websites to obtain visitors’ consent before storing or retrieving any information on their devices.
What are the requirements of cookie consent laws in the EU?
Website owners should do the following to comply with ePrivacy, GDPR in the EU while using cookies:
- Except for cookies that are strictly essential, obtain user consent before placing cookies on a visitor’s device.
- Before requesting consent, provide accurate and explicit information in plain language about the data each cookie collects and its purpose.
- Keep track of the permissions you’ve gotten from users.
- Allow users to utilise your service even if they have disabled the use of certain types of cookies.
- Make it as simple for users to withdraw their consent as it was for them to grant it in the first place.
What Is Cookie Consent In Compliance With GDPR?
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), prior consent is required to process and collect data. GDPR further requires the website to have a crystal clear consent policy.
And the user must know that in what manner the site will use the acquired personal data. In this regard, explicit consent must be obtained with the availability of opt-in and opt-out options.
What Laws Require Cookie Consent?
Cookie Consent is required under the laws of the USA, EU, UK, Brazil etc.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Cookie Consent:
The GDPR is the data privacy and protection law requiring explicit consent prior to collection or using personal data. It also requires telling users the purpose for the collection of data.
A cookie is considered personal data if it comprises information about an identifiable individual or mixes with other information to generate data concerned with identifiable information.
The process of obtaining consent must be easy and unambiguous, which means that GDPR cookie banners must be easy, containing the purpose of collecting data. The Law applies to all EU countries. After Brexit the UK has more or less the same rules under GDPR-K.Build customers Trust and get Compliant with the world’s leading Cookie Consent Banner, 50,000+ businesses use Seers CMP to meet their GDPR, PECR, CCPA,ePrivacy and LGPD obligations.
EPrivacy Directive Cookie Consent:
Preceded by GDPR, the eprivacy directive has key measures. This directive also requires the consent of the user before issuing the cookie. The directive applies to the websites of EU countries.
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Cookie Consent:
CCPA is a little different from GDPR because it allows businesses to collect data of users before consent. But on the condition of opting out from the collection process.
CCPA cookie banner should include information about the cookie, the purpose for collecting information, and the use of a cookie on the site. And whether the site shares the information with the third party or not. CCPA applies in the USA.In the case of minors, just like GDPR, it also requires prior consent in child-friendly cookie banners. Seers CMP offers Child privacy consent management in compliance with GDPR, PECR, LGPD, CCPA and ePrivacy.
Lei Geral De Proteção De Dados (LGPD) and Cookie Consent:
The LGPD applies in Brazil, and it also requires free, unambiguous, and informed consent. Here data subjects have control over their personal data.It also demands that data subjects be informed about data processing in a clear, easy and concise manner.
Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulation (PECR) and Cookie Consent:
Under PECR, user consent is required. It is similar to GDPR because it also mandates the website owner to notify users about the cookie’s details. Most importantly, it also requires prior consent.
Design your cookie consent banners in your own way with Seers highly customisable cookie banners with various colours and fonts and designs in compliance with GDPR, CCPA, LGPD, and ePrivacy.
Penalties for non-compliance with cookie consent laws
It is essential to be aware of implementing and securing your organisation’s data privacy to avoid fines and legal action for non-compliance with cookie consent laws.
What are the fines for violating GDPR cookie consent laws?
Non-compliance with the GDPR can result in substantial fines in the EU. One of the GDPR’s basic principles is that the legitimate basis for processing consent violations might result in monetary penalties.
What are the highest fines for non-compliance with GDPR cookie consent laws?
Companies have faced hefty penalties since the introduction of Europe’s historic online-privacy regulation in 2018.
Spanish DPA (NOYB) fines Twitter and Vueling Airlines €30,000 for not allowing users to reject cookies or manage cookie preferences. Also, a privacy group, NOYB, launched a campaign in 2021 to examine the usage of cookies on 10,000 of the most popular EU websites and register complaints with regulators.
Furthermore, the French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) penalised Google and Amazon a total of €135 million for putting advertising cookies on users’ devices without their consent and for not giving enough information about using cookies. CNIL also fined Carrefour for similar cookie breaches.
Get a GDPR compliant cookie consent banner for your website and minimise your legal risk.
How Can You Achieve Cookie Consent?
Cookie consent is deceptively simple. When users visit your website, they are presented with a cookie consent pop-up that allows them to “accept” or “reject” cookies and other active tracking technologies on your site.
However, cookie consent appears to be simple on the front end but really complex on the back end and nearly impossible to manage without the help of a cookie consent tool like Seers Consent Management Platform.
What are cookie consent tools?
A cookie consent tool is a software installed on your website that automates the cookie acceptance compliance process for managing end-user consent for cookies and other tracking technologies on your domain that process personal data. Website cookie consent is mandatory under GDPR laws in the EU.
To achieve cookie consent, you need to be equipped with tools that give you consented data and relevant information;
- Cookie Consent Banner
- Cookie Consent Notice
- Cookie Consent Pop-Ups
Cookie Consent Banners:
The cookie consent banners are notifications that appear when the user first visits the website. Also containing information about cookies, the website will use and also takes user consent before loading them. Is your website cookie compliant? Implement the GDPR Cookie Consent Banner. Start free with Seers.
Cookie Consent Notices:
It does not vary much from the cookie banner. Like the cookie consent banner, it also appears when you land on the website.
Cookie Consent Pop-Ups:
Besides cookie consent banners and cookie banner notices, there are cookie consent pop-ups. The cookie consent pop-ups are quite effective in obtaining consent as they persistently pop up until or unless the user rejects, accepts or selects the cookies.
These are some of the examples of cookie notices and banners.
How does the cookie consent tool work?
These tools record the user response to the cookie consent banner on your website and place cookies based on that response. If the user allows all cookies, their browser will store them, and the cookie will not be stored if the user denies it.
If they customise their cookie preferences, only the cookie categories they have enabled will be set on their browser.
To comply with the requirements of cookie consent and key data privacy legislation such as the GDPR, LGPD, and CCPA, you must be able to scan your website and detect all cookies to regulate their activation based on the consent choice of the end-user.
That’s why it really matters that your cookie consent tool uses cutting-edge scanning technology.
What should I look for in cookie consent tools?
When looking for cookie consent tools, you should expect them to have a lot more features, such as:
- A platform that manages visitor consent logs.
- A system that can address other consent issues, such as GDPR data storage location consent.
- A dashboard that allows you to monitor all consent-related activity.
- A service that integrates smoothly with other Web platforms, such as web hosting platforms or content management systems.
- A no-cost trial period or a tool that is completely free to use.
- Competitive pricing and simple payment options without lock-in periods or upfront installation charges.
Cookie Compliance Test
To comply with the GDPR cookie consent law, you must first know about all of the cookies that your website employs. There are two methods to check for anonymous cookies, trackers, and trojan horses on your website.
Method 1 – Manual Detection
One way is to check cookies from the browser manually. However, this is a time-consuming process, and also, they’re notoriously tough to detect.
Method 2 – Automatic Detection
The other way is to use a cookie scanner. Use the free Seers CMP compliance test to see if your website complies with the requirement of cookie consent laws of GDPR.
Simply enter your domain’s URL to have Seers CMP do a free scan of your website to detect all cookies and trackers on your subpages. The scanner will check your website and send the report to your email address listing them on your website.
Prior & Explicit Consent
How to implement prior consent?
You can achieve automatic blocking of cookies until prior consent has been given simply by implementing Seers’ prior consent feature.
Seers blocks cookies and other trackers automatically but if you want to implement it manually, please see our installation guide here.
Cookie Consent & Google Consent Mode
Google Consent Mode manages all of your website’s favourite Google services (Google Analytics and Google Ads) in one simple way: based on your end-users’ consents and maintained automatically by Seers CMP in full GDPR compliance.
How to manage cookie consent with Google Consent Mode?
Seers Consent Management solutions fully support and integrate with Google Consent Mode, ensuring that your website complies with GDPR without disrupting your analytics or marketing.
Suppose users refuse to accept cookies for statistics or marketing. In that case, Google Consent Mode and Seers CMP allow your website to retain vital aggregate and non-identifying measurements and to model data, allowing you to display contextual ads rather than targeted ads, respecting user privacy while improving website performance.
Google Consent Mode integrates seamlessly with Seers CMP to provide a straightforward compliance solution for your entire website, including any Google-run analytics and marketing initiatives.
Keep up with the latest technologies, policies & advancements in cookie laws
Privacy and data protection regulations often change, sometimes seemingly overnight. If you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to miss critical changes that can affect your business.
How can you stay on top of regulatory changes?
There is a list of simplest ways to stay on top of evolving standards in your business, which you can find below;
- Monitor regulatory agency websites
- Follow regulatory agencies on social media
- Subscribe to blogs & newsletters
- Join industry associations
- Attend conferences and webinars
- Implement cookie compliance software
Subscribe to Seers Privacy Newsletter to stay informed on the new developments, enforcement, regulatory, and guidance news from all around the globe.
Consent Management Platform
A consent management platform (CMP) helps businesses automate their consent management processes making GDPR compliance easier.
Manage cookie consent with a Seers Consent Management Platform
Seers is the leading Privacy & Consent Management Platform, helping 50000+ businesses in achieving compliance all around the globe.
It protects consumers’ privacy rights to deploy the industry’s best data privacy management practices and focuses on delivering high-value compliance solutions with over 1.2bn managed consents.
Seers cookie consent management tool is easy to use, with a plug-and-play approach that requires no on-site manual deployment. It also has a high degree of customisability to integrate seamlessly with your website’s theme, design, and style.
Get access to a wide range of GDPR, PECR, CCPA, and ePrivacy compliance solutions designed to make compliance easy.
- Automatic integration
The geotargeting functionality of Seers CMP ensures that your domain always displays the appropriate cookie consent solutions to end-users based on their location and the applicable data privacy legislation in their country or region.
- Google Consent Mode
Seers is one of the few CMPs globally that smoothly connects with Google Consent Mode, which allows you to operate your preferred services (like Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager) based on the state of your end-users.
Seers CMP, the unrivalled cookie consent solution on the market, automates the entire technical and legal process of cookie consent on your website, allowing you to showcase trust-building data privacy technology to critical consumers looking to be treated with respect online.
Seers Consent Management tools help you strike a better balance between data privacy and data-driven business on your website, and it’s easy to set up with only a few clicks.
Seers CMP ensures compliance with data privacy legislation such as GDPR, LGPD, CNIL, POPIA, CCPA/CPRA, PIPEDA, APPI, PIPA, PIPL, etc. It integrates with Google Consent Mode to ensure data privacy while preserving analytics and marketing.
- WCAG 2.1 Accessibility banner
Seers CMP aims to comply with the WCAG 2.1 criteria for all layers of cookie banners. This implies that all default cookie banners comply with these requirements and are updated when needed.
By creating an engaging user experience, businesses can significantly increase opt-in rates while also enhancing the transparency of their processing operations.
- Child Consent Management
The Seers Child Privacy Consent Management Platform (CPCMP) feature allows children or their parents or guardians depending on their age, to provide informed consent for the website they are visiting to handle personal data via cookies and operating scripts.
The CPCMP asks the end-user to self-certify their age before viewing the website’s content, and then displays age-appropriate information about the scripts and cookies used on the client’s website.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cookie Consent
Do I need cookie consent?
You may be exempt from cookie consent if your website only utilises strictly necessary cookies or cookies required to perform a service that the user expects. However, most websites set cookies that do not fit this criterion, and as a result, user consent for cookies is required.
A website may need additional permission for the collection and processing of data from the user. In case it is using cookies other than necessary cookies. As per the law of GDPR, CCPA, LGPD, and ePrivacy.
Why do you need a cookie consent tool on your website?
Users from all around the world can visit your website. If any of your customers are European citizens, you must comply with GDPR and obtain consent before collecting data from them.
If your client base includes residents of California, you must comply with the CCPA and provide an “opt-out” procedure for them.
It’s important to note that while a Consent Management Platform (CMP) can help you comply with the regulations, it doesn’t cover all of your responsibilities to be compliant.
How long should cookie consent last?
Cookie consent should not last longer than a year, and you should renew user consent every year. You may be obliged to renew user consent every six months, depending on your national Data Protection Authority (DPA) requirements.
With Seers, you can customise the consent expiration limit to meet your needs. See the step-by-step guide on how to change the consent expiry limit here.
How can I implement cookie consent to my website?
You can add cookie consent on your website in three easy and simple steps.
- Sign up on Seers for free.
- Customise your cookie consent banner layout.
- Copy the cookie banner code and paste it to your website.
See the detailed guide and follow how to implement a cookie banner on a website.
How can I design my cookie consent banner?
You can customise your cookie consent banners with Seers, the world’s leading consent management and privacy platform, which offers five banner designs in 29 languages. You can also customise the style and colour of your banner to resemble your website theme. We also have customer service for your assistance.
How to block cookies on my website?
You can block cookies with the help of the Cookie Manager functionality of the Seers consent management platform. When you enter a new domain, our scanner searches for the scripts that contain all of your website’s tracking technology, such as cookies, beacons, pixels, trackers, etc., and blocks them automatically. You can manually restrict or stop what scripts or cookies you want to run until consent is given.
How can the user revoke cookie consent?
According to GDPR Article 7.3 and Article 29 of the revised Guidelines on Transparency under Regulation 2016/679 of the Data Protection Working Party (WP29), it must be as easy for a website user to withdraw consent as it was to grant it in the first place.
When a website user is asked to consent to use his personal data, it should be made clear that one can withdraw the consent at any time.
Is consent to cookies required in the United States?
In the United States, cookie consent is not required (yet) in the same way it is in the EU under the GDPR’s strict cookie consent requirements. However, to comply with California’s CCPA/CPRA, Virginia’s CDPA, and other data privacy laws in the United States, you must scan and detect all cookies and trackers that process personal information on your domain. So you can provide end-users with complete transparency and the option to opt out of having their personal information shared or sold with third parties.
Do I Need Consent For Every Cookie?
You do not need consent for every cookie. However, as per ICO, it is better to provide users with information regarding the cookie.
The cookies for which you do not need consent are:
- Session cookies that provide security and are necessary to comply with data protection security requirements include online banking services.
- Load balancing cookies ensure the smooth running of the content of your page.
- Cookies that are used to remember the goods which the user wishes to buy when they add goods to their online basket on an online shopping website.