Updates on Cookie Guidelines: CNIL vs. ICO
The French data protection authority (the “CNIL”) has adopted new guidelines on cookies and other online trackers as part of its focus on targeted advertising. The CNIL noted that the Guidelines repealed the former 2013 guidelines that didn’t comply with the GDPR. In addition, the CNIL highlighted that the Guidelines will be followed by a new recommendation which will specify technical requirements for obtaining consent.
- Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (‘PECR’)
- The General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (‘GDPR’)
CNIL vs. ICO: Main Differences in Recent Updates
Contrary to ICO Guidance, under the CNIL, audience measuring trackers can be deployed without user consent, based on soft opt-in
Analytics cookies may be exempt from the consent requirement, subject to strict conditions such as:
- Cookies must be put in place by the web publisher or his processor
- User must be informed and able to object to the use of measuring cookies
- Data collected must not be combined with other types of personal data, nor sold to third parties
- Trackers may be used by one publisher and not enable tracking a user over different websites or mobile apps
- The IP address cannot be used to geolocate the user more precisely than the user’s city. The user’s IP address must be deleted or made anonymous once the user has been located to avoid this data from being used or combined with other data.
Under the ICO, ‘Strictly Necessary’ exemptions have changed (i.e. Cookies used for Google Analytics and advertising purposes)
- Companies are required to be clear with users about the purpose for storing information and requesting consent. As mentioned above, cookies relating to the functionality of a website do not require consent, but cookies for analytics, social media and advertising now require consent to track data.
Items that DO meet the ‘strictly necessary’ exemption
- Cookies that are used to remember items that a user purchases or adds to a shopping cart
- Cookies used that must comply with GDPR’s security principle, such as a connection with an online banking service
- Cookies that help increase the page load time
Items that DO NOT meet the ‘strictly necessary’ exemption
- Cookies used for website analytics
- Cookies used for first and third-party advertising
- Cookies used to recognize a user when returning to a website
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