CJEU’s judgment: storing cookies requires internet users’ active consent

On October 1st, 2019, The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled in case C-673/17 that the consent to store cookies must be active and specific.

It declares that does not constitute a valid consent when the user activates the participation button in the game organized for promotional purposes or when he removes the mark of a box marked by default to avoid the installation of cookies on his computer.

The Court thus responds to preliminary ruling referred by the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) in which it requested an interpretation of the Union Law concerning the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector.

The Court notes that the decision is unaffected by whether or not the information stored or accessed on the user’s equipment is personal data. EU law aims to protect the user from any interference with his or her private life, in particular, from the risk that hidden identifiers and other similar devices enter those users’ terminal equipment without their knowledge.

As for the information that must be provided to the user, the Court indicates that it must include the duration of the operation of cookies and whether or not third parties may have access to those cookies.

You can consult the full text of the judgment here.