How Cookie Walls Violate GDPR According to the DPA

Published in Member Communities on Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Did you know that you may be in violation of GDPR? According to the DPA (Dutch Data Protection Authority), cookie walls are in violation of GDPR. Compliance can be tricky, but staying on top of the latest information will help keep your organization operating at the highest level of security. Here’s what you need to know about GDPR violations from the security experts at VGM Technologies.

The Importance of GDPR Compliance

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect as of 2018 in the European Union. It mandates that personal data be stored, processed, collected and destroyed safely. Personal data is defined by GDPR as anything that can identify a person. This could be anything as basic as a screen name on social media.

It’s important for organizations outside of the US to be GDPR compliant, because as many have realized, technology is global. US-based companies can still be held liable to GDPR if they handle personal data of a person living in the EU. The financial penalties are severe for noncompliance and this is why it’s important to make sure you are adhering to GDPR regulations. Our cybersecurity vendor partner, ProCircular recently released a very informative article about Regulatory Trends in Privacy and Cybersecurity in 2019. Take a look at their article to get a big picture look of how GDPR fits into privacy and cybersecurity.

What is a cookie wall?

It’s not as great or delicious as it sounds. A cookie wall is when a website requires users to agree to cookie tracking before they can use the website. If you’ve gone onto an advanced website lately, you have probably seen a pop up immediately show on the home page. It asks to accept the use of cookies before allowing you to interact with the site. It seeks to track user behavior on the site so ads can be retargeted to them based on browsing habits.

The DPA’s Stance on Cookie Walls

The DPA has made a firm stance that a cookie wall is not compliant, because it almost always requires a user to select “yes” before continuing using the website. This denies the site visitor to utilize the website without allowing their information to be tracked. The European Data Protection Board states, “In order for consent to be freely given as required by the GDPR, access to services and functionalities must not be made conditional.” However, the DPA says that some cookie pop-ups are less intrusive and do not break GDPR. For example, if a website needs to access cookies in order to provide a service directly asked for by the user or to carry out information, it is allowable.

Additionally, once this information is gathered, companies need to be held accountable for securing the information they collect. As of now, the DPA’s stance is only a statement and not an official ruling. However, we are fairly certain that it will be.

Stay ahead of the GDPR curve. Talk to us about Website Protection to make sure your site is secure and GDPR compliant.


comments powered by Disqus

From Our Experts

Meet Our Members: Don Whitney, COO and CCO of Inland Medical and Rehab thumbnail Meet Our Members: Don Whitney, COO and CCO of Inland Medical and Rehab Meet Don Whitney, COO and CCO of Inland Medical and Rehab! Don has been a U.S. Rehab member since 2012. We asked Don some questions about his role at Inland Medical and Rehab, his background, how they take care of their customers, and what it means to him to serve in this industry. Episode 47: Home Accessibility and the Overhead Lift Market thumbnail Episode 47: Home Accessibility and the Overhead Lift Market Vice President of VGM Live at Home, Jim Greatorex, is joined by James Philpott of Savaria/Span America to discuss the overhead lift market and opportunities for dealers. U.S. Rehab Supplier Partner Updates: February 2020 thumbnail U.S. Rehab Supplier Partner Updates: February 2020 U.S. Rehab Supplier Partner Updates: Feburary 2020 RAC Approved to Audit Hospital Beds and Manual Wheelchairs thumbnail RAC Approved to Audit Hospital Beds and Manual Wheelchairs The Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) has been approved to audit hospital beds and manual wheelchairs. Packer Perspective: How U.S. Rehab Can Help Your Business Succeed thumbnail Packer Perspective: How U.S. Rehab Can Help Your Business Succeed U.S. Rehab continues to work in the industry to help the independent provider of any size to stay competitive in the industry. We have set our plan for 2020 and are working towards making the rehab industry, as a whole, one of the top patient-centered industries in health care. How are we going to do that and make each of our 400-plus members successful? We are working in the legislative arena, the outcomes arena, the training arena, and the program-enhancement arena. Complex Manual Wheelchair Accessories Increase in 2020 - How Did Your Representative Vote? thumbnail Complex Manual Wheelchair Accessories Increase in 2020 - How Did Your Representative Vote? On December 20, 2019, H.R. 1865, which included permanent protections for Complex Rehab Manual Wheelchairs and their accessories/components was signed into law! Meet Our Members: Don Whitney, COO and CCO of Inland Medical and Rehab thumbnail Meet Our Members: Don Whitney, COO and CCO of Inland Medical and Rehab Meet Don Whitney, COO and CCO of Inland Medical and Rehab! Don has been a U.S. Rehab member since 2012. We asked Don some questions about his role at Inland Medical and Rehab, his background, how they take care of their customers, and what it means to him to serve in the CRT space. Episode 46: Reimbursement Update with Ronda Buhrmester thumbnail Episode 46: Reimbursement Update with Ronda Buhrmester Join us for a new monthly series with VGM's billing and reimbursement expert, Ronda Buhrmester. In this episode, Ronda discusses the January 2020 changes to order requirements, upcoming webinars and opportunities to connect with her at Medtrade Spring.