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Should you have a GDPR consent banner on your website?

March 11, 2024
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You’ve likely seen them across many websites: a popup asking about data with an “Accept” and “Decline” button. You might click “Accept” without giving it much thought, but what exactly is it, and do you need one on your website? Let’s dive into the details.

What is GDPR?

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on May 25, 2018. It mandates that you must manage data securely through “appropriate technical and organizational measures.” But how can you be sure you’re handling data correctly on your website?

What is data?

Personal data includes any information that can directly or indirectly identify an individual. This ranges from names and email addresses to location information, ethnicity, gender, biometric data, religious beliefs, web cookies, and political opinions. Even pseudonymous data can be considered personal if someone can be easily identified from it. Depending on your website’s nature, you’re likely familiar with cookies and probably use them. For instance, if you’ve implemented Google Analytics or have a chatbot, you’re using cookies, as most third-party website integrations do. This underscores your responsibility to manage data securely.

When is it necessary to take action?

It’s crucial to understand that GDPR compliance is necessary if you expect visitors from Europe, regardless of where your website is based. For example, if you’re in the USA or India but anticipate European visitors, you must explicitly inform them about cookie use and provide an option to opt out.

What are the consequences?

Many websites use a simple popup to inform visitors about cookies without offering an opt-out choice. However, this approach is not compliant with the GDPR. Merely informing visitors isn’t enough; they must be able to explicitly refuse cookies, and your site must prevent those cookies from being set if they do opt out.

Failing to comply with the GDPR can lead to significant fines from local authorities if you can’t demonstrate proper data handling on your website. Penalties can reach up to €20 million or 4% of your global revenue, whichever is higher, and individuals have the right to seek compensation for damages.

Which one should you choose?

So, which solution should you choose? There are numerous GDPR consent management tools available. I recommend this one from Cookieinformation, trusted by thousands of organizations, including government entities. It supports 44 languages and offers personal chat and phone support, which I personally value when navigating something new. Plus, it’s easy to integrate and customize.

I hope this post has shed some light on data protection and its importance for your website. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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I’m Maria Mawuena

Hey, I’m Maria, the founder of wunduri! I’m big on tech, bigger on creativity, and here to help your online presence shine. Let’s make cool stuff happen online, shall we?

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