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Netherlands: AP highlights aim to tackle misleading cookie banners in 2024

On February 6, 2024, the Dutch data protection authority (AP) announced that it would check whether websites correctly request permission for the use of cookies in 2024. In particular, the AP highlighted that websites regularly use misleading cookie banners with hidden buttons. The AP outlined that cookies may make it possible for websites to profile and identify visitors through the processing of personal data gained through cookies. Similarly, the AP noted that organizations must hold back from using misleading ways to obtain consent to cookies, such as the use of refusal buttons that are less visible, automatically checking boxes to accept cookies, or implicitly assuming consent when visitors continue to the website.

Use of correct cookie banners

The AP provided examples of how to use correct cookie banners:

  • providing information about the purpose of processing;
  • not automatically enabling checkboxes;
  • using clear text;
  • putting several choices in one layer;
  • not hiding certain choices;
  • use of multiple layers;
  • not using inconspicuous links in the text;
  • being clear about withdrawing consent; and
  • not confusing consent with legitimate interest.

You can read the press release here and the AP's explanation on cookies here, both only available in Dutch.