First Cookie Enforcements in France

By: Richard Beaumont | Wednesday, August 26, 2015 | Tagged: CNIL, Cookie Law France, Cookie Law Enforcement | Leave Comment

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France’s data Protection Authority, the CNIL, has taken its first steps enforcing the cookie law in France, ordering 20 websites them to make amendments within a specified timeframe, or face further action.

The action comes about as a result of the CNIL’s active auditing of a range of sites, including using powers of automated checks that it was granted last year. 

In reporting on the general findings, the authority said while sites where using banners to inform users about cookies, this alone was not sufficient to comply with the rules.  A key element of the French law is that sites must not set certain cookies until consent has been received, yet the report pointed out that none of the monitored websites took this step – instead choosing to set cookies before users had a chance to make a choice.

They also pointed out that many sites were relying on users to change their browser settings if they didn’t want to consent to cookies, and this too is not deemed to be a valid mechanism in the majority of cases.

This is a reminder that, far from going away, the cookie law in Europe is here to stay, and enforcement activity is only likely to increase.  Site owners that may have put up a simple banner without offering user control over cookies should be re-visiting their decisions in the light of this development.

If you are the owner of a website in France, and want to make sure you are properly covered, then get in touch with us and ask about the Optanon cookie consent solution.  Our ‘soft opt-in’ consent behaviour was specifically designed to meet the requirements of French law, with the least possible disruption to the user experience.

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