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11 German states investigate cookie banners

10 more German states have announced that they will join the investigation into the compliance of cookie banners which was recently launched by the data protection authority in Baden-Württemberg. Here we'll tell you if your cookie banner is compliant and which steps you can take to comply with GDPR and ePrivacy regulations.

On August 19 the State Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (LfDI) Baden-Württemberg, Dr. Stefan Brink, announced that from now on Baden-Württemberg will be checking the websites of large media companies with regards to compliant cookie banners.

Now it is official that, in addition to Baden-Württemberg, the following 10 German states are also participating in the process:

  • Hamburg
  • Brandenburg
  • Hesse
  • Lower Saxony
  • North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Bremen
  • Rhineland-Palatinate
  • Saxony
  • Saxony-Anhalt
  • Schleswig-Holstein

In May 2020 the German Federal Court of Justice decided, in accordance with the requirements of the ePrivacy Directive, that valid consent must be obtained from visitors to the website before cookies are set.

Consent must be given voluntarily and explicitly. Cookie walls that force users to accept cookies in order to be able to access the website are not permitted.

Further, scrolling a website does not count as explicit consent, nor do boxes ticked in advance.

Link: What are the rules on cookies?

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

The fines for non-compliance with the processing of personal data with the help of cookies are extensive.

According to the GDPR, fines of €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover are imposed, including for violations related to the use of cookies.

When it comes to informing users about cookies and obtaining and storing valid consents, you should use a certified Consent Management Platform.

With a Consent Solution from Cookie Information solution, you will receive a cookie consent pop-up that:

  • Informs your website visitors about cookies (who owns them, their purpose, their lifespan);
  • Gives your visitors the option to reject cookies (and tracking);
  • Holds back cookies until consent has been obtained;
  • Does not assume consent by ticking the boxes in advance;
  • Stores the consents for 5 years (in the event of an inspection by the data protection authorities);
  • Can be customized with your company logo, colors and fonts.

References

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