This question is about the functional implications of the "EU cookie law" in browsers. General Data Protection Regilation (GDPR) is implemented in EU starting from May 2018 and ironically does not directly mention cookies... However as it is currently phrased it has direct impact on the use of browser cookies. I have no intent to discuss the GDPR itself nor to go into further details of explaining it. For additional reading please see:
- OR make a quick search on google for terms EU + GDPR + cookies
Actual question may be very simple but I honestly could not find an answer to it in google. So here it is:
There are two ways to deal with cookies: Either by managing cookie options on per site basis or by changing setting in browser. For me it is unclear which one of these two methods has a priority.
Consider the following examples:
Jack does not mind cookies. In fact he loves them. He has nothing to hide and is happy for every website he visits to store those tiny bits of information that enable third-party companies to pick and choose adds suitable for him. So he goes and configures his browser to set accept all cookies. Yet this does not stop sites from displaying cookie consent banners which annoy Jack a lot. (Here are few exampels of Jacks: one, two )
Bob unlike Jack is a bit of a paranoid (aren't we all?). He does not want anyone tracking him and using his personal info for statistical analysis and market research. Seeing an add that somehow relates to Bob's yesterday's google search makes him jump up in a chair. So Bob goes and disables third-party cookies in his browser. But again just like with Jack websites keep showing him consent banners. To make it worse these banners are all formatted differently and require to go into sub-sub-sub-sub-options in order to actually reach the needed settings and disable third-party cookies. Everytime Bob goes into these submenus, website navigates away from the content Bob was reading which upsets him. (Here is a Bob)
So in the end what has a higher priority? Browser settings or website consents?
Can Bob just tweak his browser and then keep clicking "Accept all" knowing that it does not mean anything as his browser will still prevent unwanted cookies? And is there any hope at all for Jack who wants to blanket-accepta-all? Will Jack still need to see this ugly banners blocking his device screen?