I wonder have you noticed that across the Summer, cookie banners on websites have started to change. They are now coming in the side, the bottom and top and are asking you to select your preferences, or consent to the different types of cookies that are on the website you are using.

Why the Change?

This change has been prompted by the Planet 21 court case in the European Court of Justice and subsequent guidance by the Irish Data Protection Commission, the DPC. This means that consent for cookies on websites has to reach the standard of consent under the GDPR, that is to be informed, unambiguous and freely given by a clear affirmative action. The days of implied consent by scrolling, or just a banner with an accept button are over.

Website Cookie Audits

From 6th Oct 2020, the DPC have started auditing websites to ensure that cookie banners, cookie notices and privacy notices are all compliant with Data Protection law and this new guidance. As a website owner, you have the responsibility to ensure that your website notices are up to the standards set out by the DPC.

So what does this mean for you?

I see this as an opportunity to communicate with customers your approach to privacy. Going forward, before customers can engage with your products and services, they have to engage with these cookie banners.

This is an occasion for you to showcase how well you are doing in this sphere.

Cookie banners need to have certain elements in them to be complaint, but the language that they are written in can be personalised to you.

In fact, the DPC expect a move away from generic documents to ones that are bespoke to your business as they state that “using a template service to generate a privacy policy or cookie policy is a futile and cosmetic exercise.”

Why not tell people how well you are doing?

I’m sure your business is treating the personal data you are processing with the utmost respect and security in line with GDPR, so why not tell people? Take this opportunity now to craft your cookie banners, cookie notice and privacy notice in a way that reflects your business. Customers are becoming more and more aware about their rights under GDPR and Data Protection sells.

Each time someone clicks on your cookie banner, cookie notice or privacy notice is an opportunity for you to promote your business.

If you need help in auditing your website, check out these tools here.

If you want to find out more about the DPC guidance, download the free Powerpoint slides in the Resources section.

See the Resources section for all the tools you need on your GDPR Compliance Journey.