‘Active consent’ required for cookie storage, ECJ rules

The storage of online cookies requires ‘active consent’ from web users, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on Tuesday (1 October). The decision came following a challenge from the German Federation of Consumer Organisations against the use of a pre-ticked checkbox which had consented to cookies on behalf of the user by default.

On Tuesday, the court ruled that “the consent which a website user must give to the storage of and access to cookies on his or her equipment is not validly constituted by way of a pre- checked checkbox,” and therefore the user must actively submit their approval for cookie storage.

‘Cookies’ or ‘data packets’ are items of code stored on a computer which are used to track a users’ activity online.

The case had been made against Germany company Planet49, and the fact that in 2013 the firm had presented web users with a ‘pre-ticked’ box consenting to cookie storage, in order to access a promotional lottery game online.

The case is: C-673/17, Planet49 GmbH v. Bundesverband der Verbraucherzentralen und Verbraucherverbände — Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband e. V.

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