CookieLaw Blog May 23, 2014

Online Advertiser in Dutch Cookie Law Breach

YD is an online advertising network headquartered in the Netherlands, but also serving customers in Germany, France and Spain. The CBP, the Dutch Data Protection Authority has ruled that they are in violation of the cookie law in the Netherlands by using cookies for behavioural advertising, without users consent.

According to law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, although the law in the Netherlands is about to be relaxed, the company would still be in violation after the changes are introduced.

They also go on to explain that the violation occurred even though YD offer a user opt-out control, which is the self-regulatory OBA programme, administered by Ghostery (formerly Evidon).

This is the first time the CBP has ruled on a Dutch cookie law violation, and follows on from fines handed down in Spain earlier this year.

There appear to be two very significant elements to this decision.  As an advertising company, YD places its cookies on other companies websites – who themselves would choose to allow this to happen.  However it is the advertiser, not the publishers of the websites, that has been found to be responsible for obtaining consent.

Secondly, it appears to be saying that the much publicised OBA ‘blue icon’ programme does not meet the requirements of Dutch law.  In particular it seems the information provided by YD through the programme, doesn’t satisfy the requirements for adequate notification.

Dutch companies are being advised to review their use of cookies, and make sure they are obtaining opt-in based consent, something with of course they can do with the Optanon ePrivacy tool.

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