Insights Information Commissioner’s Office calls on G7 countries to tackle cookie pop-ups challenge

The ICO has called on fellow G7 data protection and privacy authorities to work together to overhaul cookie consent pop-ups, so people’s privacy is more meaningfully protected and businesses can provide a better web browsing experience.

The ICO notes that currently, many people automatically select “I agree” when presented with cookies pop-ups on the internet, meaning that they do not have meaningful control over their personal data.

Chairing the virtual meeting on 7 to 8 September 2021, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham presented a new vision, where web browsers, software applications and device settings allow people to set lasting privacy preferences of their choosing, rather than having to do that through pop-ups every time they visit a website. This would ensure people’s privacy preferences are respected and the use of personal data is minimised, while improving users’ browsing experience and removing friction for businesses.

While this approach is already technologically possible and compliant with data protection law, the ICO believes the G7 authorities could have a major impact in encouraging technology firms and standards organisations to further develop and roll out privacy-oriented solutions to this issue.

Ms Denham said: “There are nearly two billion websites out there taking account of the world’s privacy preferences. No single country can tackle this issue alone. That is why I am calling on my G7 colleagues to use our convening power. Together we can engage with technology firms and standards organisations to develop a coordinated approach to this challenge.” To read the ICO’s press release in full, click here.