DPAs support NOYB's call for YES/NO cookie consent options

24/01/2023 | NOYB

Following the Cookie Banner Task Force's progress report published by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) last week, the Austrian privacy group NOYB has provided its own update and summary of the report's findings. 

The Task Force's report is a response to NOYB's 2021 campaign against illegal cookie practices, which resulted in over 700 cookie banner complaints being filed across the EU. The report's findings clarified specific unlawful practices, including:

  • Reject option hidden in a sub-layer
  • Pre-ticked boxes instead of active consent
  • Smaller links in another text to refuse consent
  • Links to refuse consent placed outside the cookie banner 
  • Relying on legitimate interest, not consent, for installing non-essential cookies 
  • No option to permanently withdraw consent

The EDPB explained its findings "reflect a minimum threshold in this multi-layered legal framework to assess the placement/reading of cookies and subsequent processing of the data collected." However, the EDPB further clarified its position does "not constitute stand-alone recommendations or findings to obtain a greenlight from a competent authority."

In response, Ala KrinickytÄ—, data protection lawyer at NOYB, said: "We are very happy that the authorities agreed on the minimum threshold for protections against abusive banners. Cookie banners became the poster child of the GDPR being undermined. We need authorities to take urgent action, to ensure citizens' trust in European privacy laws."

Of the 700+ complaints NOYB filed in 2021, over 56% introduced more compliant cookie banners. Currently, only 60 cookie cases have been closed.

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