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Belgian business receives €15K cookie fine

Bittersweet Christmas present from the Belgian Data Protection Authority (BDPA) to a small company specialized in legal information. First Belgian fine for unlawful use of cookies. Here are 7 quick tips to avoid the same fine.

Small company fined for unlawful use of cookies

On December 17, 2019, the Belgian Data Protection Authority (BDPA) handed the small Belgian company Jubel.be – who operates a website with legal information – a fine of €15.000 for unlawful use of cookies.

Interestingly, this time the BDPA did not act based on a filed complaint but carried out their investigation on its own initiative.

In its decision, the BDPA fined Jubel.be because:

Belgian Data Protection Authority sets example

In a press announcement to Belgian website standaard.be, the BDPA confirms that the intent of the investigation and fine was to set an example, pointing to the exemplary role that a legal information website should play.

In the same instance, the BDPA argued that most websites in Belgium are unlikely to comply with the rules as prescribed in this case.

"Sites must be well aware that they have serious obligations. There is an information obligation for cookies, even if they come from third parties."

Dispute Chamber Data Protection Authority

What is remarkable with this fine is, that it is a small website with approx. 35.000 visitors a month who is the first to receive a fine for unlawful use of cookies in Belgium.

The BDPA sends a clear message that it is not only the big players who are targeted, but every company must comply with the GDPR for cookies.

How to avoid the same cookie fine?

7 quick tips to avoid a cookie fine

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