Cookie wall, the choice of some newspapers leads to discussion

Cookie wall, the choice of some newspapers leads to discussion

Cookie wall

A particular cookie wall has made its appearance, in recent days, on the sites of numerous Italian newspapers and companies connected to the media: if you are not a subscriber, you must give your consent to the tracking of personal data to read the articles. A move that has raised the antennas to the Privacy Guarantor, which has opened an investigation into the practices implemented by the publishers, to understand if they are in line with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union ( Gdpr).

Since 9 January 2022, the Privacy Guarantor has implemented the privacy guidelines on cookies, which all sites must take into consideration when preparing their own cookie policy and the cookie banner that appears at every new access to a website. The move by the Guarantor kicks off with the introduction of the Gdpr at EU level and some important rulings on the tracking of users during their online navigation, issued by the Court of Justice of the Union.

Among the innovations introduced in January was invalidated the use of scrolling, or navigation on sites, as a method to consider automatic the consent of users to the tracking of their data, and the automatic preselection of unnecessary cookies, such as profiling and marketing. Furthermore, the legitimate interest can no longer be considered a legal basis in place of the explicit and informed consent of the users, to authorize the tracking of their data.

Finally, in its guidelines, the Guarantor has indicated as invalid the cookie wall, i.e. the banner that prevents access to the site if profiling cookies are not accepted. This request, in fact, would not make the consent free for the user who wants to access the site without being tracked.

Despite the indications of the Guarantor are clear, in recent days, many sites have implemented systems and filters that reduce the possibility of accessing content to only two options: either the subscription to a subscription (the so-called paywall ) or, alternatively, to the release of consent by users for the installation of cookies and other personal data tracking tools, ie the cookie wall.

Specifically, this type of cookie wall is a mechanism binding, in which the user is in fact obliged to express his consent to the receipt of cookies, under penalty of inability to access a site. The activation of the cookie wall has sparked many protests, both on the internet and through official channels. In reaction to the numerous reports received, the Privacy Guarantor therefore examined the practices of the publishers "in order to evaluate the adoption of any interventions on the matter".