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Cookie law guidance updated by the EDPB


Many organisations still struggle to understand ‘cookie law’, i.e. the steps they must take to ensure the cookies on their website comply with applicable law. The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has recently updated its guidance on this contentious topic.

Standard of Consent

The need for consent for the use of (non-essential) cookies derives from (in the UK) the Privacy in Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), which is to the effect that storing or accessing information on a user’s equipment is only allowed on the condition that the user receives sufficient notice and provides consent to such activity.

The consent is the same as is required by the GDPR’s definition of consent, meaning it must be a freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous indication. It is the website controller’s responsibility to be able to demonstrate that consent was validly gained, and failure to prove valid consent can result in fines. (However, consent is not required for cookies which are strictly necessary for the provision of the service).

Consent not given with Cookie Walls

When access to a website’s content is blocked and made conditional on the user consenting, such consent is not truly freely given and therefore is not valid.

Continued Browsing Does Not Constitute Consent

The EDPB says that someone’s continued browsing of a website is not enough to constitute consent.

Refreshed Consent Required

Because the law does not specify how long consent, once given, will last, the EDPB says consent should be refreshed at ‘appropriate intervals’.

Demonstrating Valid Consent

The EDPB says that organisations should consider retaining:

  • information on the session in which consent was expressed together with documentation of the consent workflow at the time; and
  • a copy of the information presented to the user.


Grey areas remain around cookie law and may be addressed in future rulings with the eventual adoption of an ePrivacy Regulation, which currently continues working through the EU legislative process.

If your organisation is looking to comply with the requirements of the GDPR then take a look at how our CSaaS and DPaaS solutions can help.

Appointing NormCyber as our virtual DPO has given Ferrero the best of both worlds – access to data protection experts who understand what we stand for as a business, without the hefty overheads usually associated with appointing an in-house DPO.

Harpreet Thandi
Regional Counsel, UK & Ireland, Ferrero

We were looking for a virtual DPO service that offered all of the benefits of a fully qualified data protection lawyer, without the overheads of an in-house hire. The DPaaS solution from norm. has been invaluable in helping us to ensure we respect the integrity of our customers’ personal information, while using it to continue to deliver differentiated products and services which support our growing customer base.

Mike Whitfield, Compliance Manager

CSaaS allows me to step away from multi-vendor management as the Security Operations Centre coordinates all of the technology for me.

David Vincent, CTO

We were in the market for an independent Data Protection Officer service that was well versed with both UK and EU regulators. We’re thrilled to have acquired this service knowing that an expert is available 24/7.

Suzanne McCabe, Head of Project Management
James Hambro & Partners

Norm’s penetration testing layer, along with the suite of CSaaS modules has enabled MA to exceed all its audit requirements for its major clients.

Rob Elisha, ICT and CRM Manager
Montreal Associates

The speed of your Data Protection Officer’s response was very impressive – it was far quicker than I would have expected even from an in-house DPO

Will Blake, Director of Technology and Analytics
CRU Group