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Does your website need a cookie consent notice?

Does a website need a cookie consent?


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A common misconception is that the use of cookies is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which in fact, it is not: cookie usage and its related consent acquisition are not governed by the GDPR, they are instead governed by the ePrivacy Directive (Cookie law).

The Cookie Law requires users’ informed consent before storing cookies on a user’s device and/or tracking them.

This means that if your website/app (or any third-party service used by your website/app) uses cookies, you must inform users about your data collection activities and give them the option to choose whether it’s allowed or not; you must obtain informed consent prior to the installation of those cookies. The chances are that most websites will require a cookie consent notice unless they only use cookies as listed below in the exemptions list.

What are cookies?

Web browsers create simple text files called cookies when you visit websites on the internet. Your device stores the text files locally allowing your browser to access the cookie and pass data back to the original website.

Some cookies are exempt from the consent requirement and therefore are not subject to preventive blocking (though you’re still required to have the banner and cookie policy in place). The exemptions are as follows:

Technical cookies strictly necessary for the provision of the service. These include preference cookies, session cookies, load balancing, etc.
Statistical cookies managed directly by you (not third-parties), providing that the data is not used for profiling
Statistical (anonymized) third-party cookies (e.g. Google Analytics)*
*This exemption is may not be applicable for all regions and is therefore subject to specific local regulations.

Why are they called cookies?

I can find four separate theories behind the name:-

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