The Data Protection Commissioner has announced that from the 22/6/2021, they will start inspections on websites to see if they comply with the Commissioner’ guidelines for the use of cookies.

Firstly, the new guidelines state that the cookies policy currently used should includes all cookies sent from all of the pages of the particular domain name/website. Please remember to include also third party cookies, which must be named specifically. You should receive this information from your web developer/administrator. Please note that there are some technical solutions which effectively scan the website continuously daily and provide the list of cookies in real time.

Secondly, there are analytics/performance cookies and on some websites, advertising cookies too, which need user consent before they are installed. Consent must also be sought separately for analytics cookies and separately for advertisement cookies (if any) and the user must be able to perform some positive act (such as clicking a check box) signifying consent. These cookies (analytics and advertising, if any) should not be sent upon visit if the user does not actively consent to them. Analytic cookies and even more so, advertising/marketing cookies cannot be installed simply because the user visits or continues browsing the website. Thus, the user must have the opportunity to give consent by doing some act for each of the two types of cookies, as described above. In this respect, your web developer needs to examine and confirm that the above consent system can be implemented technically, i.e., (a) only technically necessary cookies (and not performance-analytics and advertisement cookies) are sent automatically every time a user visits a website, (b) the user is given the opportunity consent to these types of cookies separately and by a positive act such as clicking on a checkbox and (c) only if he/she so consents, only the particular cookies are sent. These options are usually given on the cookies notice bar which should appear informing users about the use of cookies as soon as they visit the website.

Please keep in mind that only technically necessary cookies for the function of the website are allowed without user’s consent. If a user does not provide consent and simply closes the cookies notice window, then it is considered that the user’s consent has not been obtained and the default option for non- necessary cookies must be “off”.

Additionally, the withdrawal of consent must be as easy as obtaining it. For this purpose, there should be a link (e.g. at the top or bottom or side of the page), with which the user can change his/her options at any time (e.g. be able to withdraw his/her consent for some or all of the categories for which he/she has given consent).

Please keep in mind that in order for the user to be able to give his consent lawfully, he must first have been informed about the use of cookies. Thus, the cookies notice bar must give more information with a link to the cookies policy of your website.

It is clarified also that a website is not allowed to ban access to those who do not consent to the use of cookies (avoid cookie-walls).

Our expert team can help advise and assist you to ensure that your website meets the new guidelines, please contact us or email us at