Cookies and Consent – Guidance from the Article 29 Working Party

Source: JISC

The Article 29 Working Party has issued new guidance on the requirements for websites to be compliant with the cookie law.  The guidance indicates that website visitors should be given the choice whether to accept or refuse the placing of cookies prior to cookies being set or read and that this choice should remain available to them on future visits so they can change their mind.  This runs contrary to the UK Information Commissioner view that there is no absolute requirement for website operators to obtain prior consent to cookies.  The guidance, which can be accessed on the Europa website, does say that website operators are free to use different means for achieving consent.  It re-states that consent must be unambiguous and can be concluded from active behaviour by the data subject.  It also states that there should be no significant negative consequences if the user does not consent to the website using cookies.  FE and HE institutions should also look at the Jisc Legal FAQ “What Does the New “Cookie” Legislation Require us to do?” for assistance.