If you dropped the term GDPR in the weeks before 25 May 2018, you could count on small nervous breakdowns at many IT and marketing professionals.
But since the GDPR came into force, the regulations have been remarkably calm. Until now. The European Court of Justice recently ruled in a lawsuit concerning the obtaining of consent within GDPR. Now the question remains: what is the impact of that decision?
To begin with, it is nice that there has finally been a lawsuit that has clarified the legislation. In the Netherlands, for example, there were conflicting statements about the method of obtaining cookie consent between the Dutch government and the Dutch Data Protection Authority; this led to uncertainty among many marketeers. The ruling provides clarity. Although you can also state that this limits the work of marketers even further. Whatever the case may be, it ultimately benefits the privacy of the end user.
In short, the legislation amounts to the following:
it is now forbidden to get implicit (cookie) permission (implicitly a message like "if you continue to use this website, we will register that as permission"); automatically checked fields, even on the cookiebar settings page, are not allowed; All permission for cookies related to further advertising or personalization must have been obtained through explicit actions, such as actively checking a requested field and / or actively clicking on an "I accept" button. In fact, this means that if you want to activate marketing tags, explicit user action is required. It is therefore also important that it is clear to the user that this is expected of him or her. Updating your existing cookie bar is advisable.
An interesting detail is that you do not necessarily need permission via check boxes. What is permitted is clearly defined in the cookie bar that you, after the user's permission, place cookies for advertising or personalization purposes. After which it is sufficient for the user to accept via the "I accept" button. As long as you add the option "I do not accept".
Impact on marketing
Most cookie bars make smart use of the implicit consent principle. Handy, because it provides you with a large (re) marketing target group. Compliance with the new rules will have a major impact on the amount of users that you can include in your marketing campaigns, because you really cannot avoid this explicit action.
If you decide to adjust your cookie bar, the motto is to make it informative. Also pay attention to how you help users make a quick choice easily. A good example of an informative, functional and user-friendly cookie bar is that of nos.nl.
The cookie is not (yet) dead
Together with the developments regarding Intelligent Tracking Prevention, the new legislation is a major step towards a world without cookies. It is the new reality. And that is difficult. Even companies such as Google and Facebook do not yet have a solution for this situation; not acknowledging the new situation.
The cookie is not (yet) dead. But from a marketing perspective, it is wise to shift the focus from gathering and targeting new, unknown users, to better serving existing customers or customers through first-party data. Ultimately, that is precisely the intention of these legislative and technical developments: protect the privacy of your users and focus on obtaining data in a way that people like. And while it may feel like a tricky way of marketing and business, it puts the needs of the customer first and that should always be the main goal.
In short, our advice comes down to the following three things:
update your cookie bar so that it fits the new GDPR regulations; check and update your marketing tag setup if necessary, so that for example your remarketing tags are only activated after the new explicit permission; consider how the new regulations affect your marketing strategy and how you can improve it by focusing on first-party data. The first two tips are especially useful in the short term. You can consider the third if you are going to focus on the long-term actions.
Note that this article was written with the intention of informing about the new AVG legislation. We are happy to help with this. However, it is advisable for a company to claim professional legal aid for further advice. That way you know for sure that it is clear what you have to do to ensure that this runs smoothly. For now, adjust the cookie bar and let's get the best out of this new digital reality.