You have likely have noticed (unless you have been on another planet over the past year) is that the General Data Protection Regulation came into force in May this year. This is a European Union regulation that affects anyone who handles any information about anyone within the European Union. This makes it a fairly wide-ranging law as it doesn’t matter whether you or your site are in the EU, only where the person visiting your site or using your service is based.
One of the big aspects of GDPR is the idea of consent when related to the collection and use of personal data. This is very important and relates to almost every website and service. Even if you think that you don’t deal with personal data, you may still find that this law becomes relevant to you.
With GDPR, the EU has taken these rules and strengthened them. Now it insists that the user must explicitly consent and that you shouldn’t use the cookies without that consent. It’s now no longer permissible to imply consent from a user by their continued use of a site after a warning. They need to click a link or a button that confirms their consent or something similar that can clearly be recorded as consent. In addition to not allowing implied consent, it also makes clear that a lack of consent should not be detrimental to a user using the site or service. This is a big one as it means that forcing users to consent to the use of the cookies in order to use the site could be seen as not giving the user freedom to consent, and thus the consent is not valid.
Finally, a user should now be able to withdraw their consent to having their information used which should be as simple to withdraw as to give. When the user consents they should be informed about their ability to later withdraw the consent. They should also be able to request that all information relating to them be deleted and no longer used.
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