eco on the German High Court Ruling: More Legal Certainty in Dealing with Cookies

With today’s ruling on the legal dispute between the Federation of German Consumer Organisations and Planet49 GmbH, the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) has clarified the consent requirement before processing personal data. Advertising companies thus require the voluntary, explicit consent of the users when setting personal cookies, as also required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the European e-Privacy Directive.

The Association of the Internet Industry welcomes the fact that the judgement today has removed ambiguities in the setting of personal cookies and that the handling of data has been regulated uniformly at European level.

eco Managing Director Alexander Rabe comments:

“The opt-out model was used for a long time in Germany to set advertising cookies – users were informed and could then actively object to this. However, EU legislation has required consent since 2009. Since the entry into force of the GDPR, the requirements for consent have again changed, which now read “explicit” – i.e. there must be a clear, confirmatory act on the part of the user. Thus, today’s ruling finally gives companies and users clarity and legal certainty in dealing with cookies.”

With the General Data Protection Regulation, Europe has set the framework for the future design of the protection of personal data. Fragmented regulation, which was previously handled differently in various national data protection laws, has been bundled, systematised and set up in a central European regulation according to the same principles. The Association of the Internet Industry has developed key points for the current evaluation of the GDPR.

eco zum BGH-Urteil: Mehr Rechtssicherheit im Umgang mit Cookies