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Europe (finally) recognizes that cookie banners are annoying

© Lemon squeezer/Unsplash/Julissa Capdevilla

The European Commission has been working for several weeks on new rules around consent banners on cookies. Sites operating in Europe have been required to display these banners since the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulations(GDPR).

The problem is that beyond this obligation, and the definition of “express consent&#8221 ; nothing in the text completely standardizes these banners. As a result, each site can come up with its own solution, some using technical service providers to facilitate implementation, others not.

What could a less intrusive cookie consent look like

However, to make matters worse, these banners tend to appear a little too often, and offer far too many options, for example by separating “essential cookies” from others allowing the collection the “preferences and interests” of visitors.

Another practice pointed out: certain sites offer in their banner to accept cookies or to pay. The consequence is a certain “anesthesia” of Internet users, who end up clicking on “Accept all” just to get rid of that annoying message that appears way too often.

In its proposals, the Commission wants to impose that “consent requests do not contain information about ‘essential cookies’ nor any reference to the collection of data based on the interests” of the Internet user. Enough to clearly simplify the information to which the Internet user is exposed in these messages.

Other proposal: “where content is financed at least in part by advertising, this must be explained in advance when users access the site or application for the first time’ 8221;. The idea being that when a company earns advertising revenue because it exposes consumers to tracking-based advertising using behavioral data or selling it to third parties, users must be informed of this economic model.

Less frequent display, or even no banner at all for certain sites

In addition, “ asking consumers to read a complex cookie banner before giving them a 'pay or leave' ultimatum in case of refusal could be considered as manipulation”. In the proposals taken up by our colleagues from Euractiv, we can also read that the Commission wants information on cookies and the economic model to be presented at the same time.

In an interview published this morning in Welt am Sonntag (reprinted by the blog Ghacks), the Commissioner in charge of the file, Didier Reynders, also wants the display of these banners to no longer be a “nuisance”. It details several additional measures, including ensuring that the largest sites commit to good practices on the issue, particularly in terms of clear information – which could in return lift the obligation for them to present these banners.

On other sites, the Commissioner also mentions the possibility of presenting consent banners at a lower frequency, potentially only once a year – However, the technical details of such a display remain to be determined. Furthermore, the timetable for these future changes still remains unknown. An amendment to the GDPR, adopted by the 27 States of the Union, will necessarily be necessary, which may take some time.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116