Tired of cookie banners and consent pop-ups? Well, they may be changing (again)...

Our recent article discussed cookie compliance and an upsurge in individuals and claimant firms sending letters to organisations claiming that their use of cookies contravenes the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR).

One of our top tips was to be careful to not track users before they have given their consent and to display a cookie consent banner that auto-blocks cookies until the visitor positively opts in or out of your cookie policy.

Pop-up fatigue

We do, however, appreciate that many web users are critical of these very cookie banners and consent pop-ups – despite the fact that they are there to inform and create transparency. The prevalence of cookie banners has unfortunately meant that internet users now routinely dismiss pop-ups without reading them, which has ultimately led to people giving more personal data than they would actually like – which flies in the face of why they are there in the first place!

As a result of this pop-up ‘fatigue’, Elizabeth Denham, the UK's current Information Commissioner, will meet with her data protection and privacy counterparts in the G7 (Group of Seven) nations on 7-8 of September to take aim at cookie banners and consent pop-ups.

At the G7 meeting, Ms Denham is to propose a new system "where web browsers, software applications and device settings allow people to set lasting privacy preferences of their choosing, rather than having to do that through pop-ups every time they visit a website".

The intention of the overhaul is to rein in some of the more onerous requirements brought in by the GDPR by making web browsing smoother and more business friendly whilst still protecting personal data. This will undoubtedly be a welcome development for smaller firms and organisations (and, of course, the user!).

Are you looking for guidance on how to ensure your current cookie banner is GDPR & PCER compliant? Read our latest update here.

This article was co-written by Sarah Milne, Trainee Solicitor.

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