Cookies: the Council of State agrees with the editors against the Cnil

Publishers can block access to their site to an Internet user who refuses cookies, contrary to what the French gendarme of personal data indicates in its guidelines.

According to the high administrative court, publishers can block access to their site to an Internet user who refuses cookies, contrary to what the Cnil, the French gendarme for personal data, indicates in its guidelines on the subject published in 2019. . The Cnil cannot “legally prohibit (…) ‘cookies walls’, a practice which consists in blocking access to a website in the event of refusal of cookies», Indicated the Council of State in a press release, thus confirming information from. “By deducing such a prohibition from the sole requirement of a free consent of the user to the deposit of tracers laid down by the European Data Protection Regulation (RGPD), the CNIL exceeded what it could legally do“, Continues the press release.

The Council of State also underlined that site editors did not need to request specific consent for each use of data by the Internet user, who can give overall consent. On the other hand, the consent of “the user must be preceded by specific information“For each of these uses, he insisted.

The Council of State had been seized by the Geste, the union of publishers of content and online services, and other professional associations: the latter are opposed to the new guidelines adopted by the Cnil in 2019, after the entry into force of the new European data protection regulation (GDPR) a year earlier.

Cookies allow site editors to accumulate data on Internet users, which may then be resold, in particular for targeted advertising purposes. However, the Council of State did not follow the publishers on their other grievances on these guidelines, particularly concerning the recommended retention period for cookies.

The Cnil will soon publish its “recommendation”(A practical guide to applying the guidelines). The first penalties for non-compliance with these instructions will only come after a “adaptation period”Six months, the time that publishers update their sites.

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