The legal implication of cookies in Europe

Did you know that even after having consented to cookies, you could withdraw your consent at any time on any website? This is not a coincidence, but a legal requirement throughout the EU.

In the European Union, the use of cookies is regulated by the General Protection of Data Regulation (GPDR), laid out by the EU Regulation 2016/679 of 27 April 2016. According to the preamble of the GPDR, «the protection of natural persons in relation to the processing of personal data is a fundamental right». Furthermore, «the processing of personal data should be designed to serve mankind. The right to the protection of personal data is not an absolute right; it must be considered in relation to its function in society and be balanced against other fundamental rights, in accordance with the principle of proportionality». 

Cookies are mentioned only once throughout the directive, which focuses on regulating «consent to the use of personal data». 

Some basic rules about cookies:

  • Consent to cookies must be «freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous» (Preamble, 32). Consent must be presented in an «intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language» (Article 7). 
  • You have the right to withdraw your consent to cookies at any moment, and withdrawing it must be as easy as giving it (Article 7). 
  • Processing of data about racial or ethnic origin, political opinion, religious or philosophical beliefs, genetic or biometric data, or data about health and sexual life is strictly regulated (Article 9)

If cookies are so tightly regulated at the European level, it means that there are huge economic and political interests at stake! 


Data protection | European Commission ( 

REGULATION (EU) 2016/ 679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL – of 27 April 2016 – on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/ 46/ EC (General Data Protection Regulation) ( 

– Anita
series of posts “Dough Not Agree”


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