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New report shines light on deficient cookie banners

24 February 2023



The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has publicized a report about cookie banners on websites. Important conclusions from the publication include that companies unlawfully use pre-ticked boxes for consent and that cookies are labelled “essential” incorrectly.

EDPB states that data controllers often provide users with various alternatives in cookie banners where the consent boxes are pre-ticked. EDPB’s taskforce emphasizes that such pre-ticked boxes do not lead to valid consent as this violates recital 32 in the GDPR.

In addition, the report deduces that data controllers inaccurately classifies cookies as “essential” even though these are not necessary to uphold the functionality of the website. The task force highlights the practical difficulties associated with establishing a general classification of cookies to determine which ones that are necessary due to the changing nature of cookies. Thus, this prevents the EDPB to create a reliable list of all necessary cookies. Moreover, the report discusses potential solutions where companies can use digital tools to scan their website and subsequently establish a list of the cookies used on the webpage. The taskforce argues that such list can lay the foundation for the company to prove which cookies that could be justified to be labelled as “essential”.



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