Cookie consent refers to a user allowing specific data to be collected through HTTP cookies. As with any other type of data collection, Cookie collected data is regulated by GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation, a set of rules adopted by the EU Parliament in 2016 in order to replace the old regulation adopted back in 1995.
By May 2018 the new GDPR regulations were already effective in the entire European Union. And from then on, GDPR dictated how consumers’ data would be collected, stored, and used in order to protect sensitive information and users’ privacy.
As a result, every organization that collects and processes any kind of personal data coming from EU citizens must comply with these rules, must be transparent and forthcoming. In other words, online platforms collecting any kind of such information – be it a simple landing page, a blog, or e-commerce platforms – have to be clear about what data they collect and why.
How do Cookies work?
Cookies do not collect private information like for example, when we submit a contact form, subscribe to a newsletter, or create an account on a website and we willingly provide personal information such as name, email, and even phone number.
This information is only collected when a user specifically adds it in a form and is stored in the website’s database. from where it can be deleted after the user’s specific request, as per GDPR regulations.
Cookies, in contrast, collect information about each user and their sessions, or visits to a website, in order to provide a better, more personalized browsing experience. This means that information collected through cookies is less personal than an email or a phone number. But, it does include websites we visit, geolocation, our behavior on a website, and even our shopping carts.
On the bright side, this data is not stored in a website’s database, it is stored in the browser. This means that we can always go into our browser’s settings and delete saved cookies. On the less bright side, while websites are obligated by GDPR regulations to have a Cookie warning or a Cookie consent option, not everyone does. So, users have to manually check and delete their unwanted cookies.
Who needs to have a Cookie Consent Message
This regulation includes websites that use third-party cookies, or cookies that collect data for partners and third-party websites connected with the platform such as advertisers and analytical tools. In other words, if your website is connected with external analytical tools such as Google Analytics, or you show ads, these third-party websites might collect cookies about your users’ sessions. Therefore, you need to show a warning message in order to be GDPR compliant.
Types of Cookie Consent messages
The Cookie consent usually comes in the form of a popup or clear message somewhere on the page. Depending on what data is collected and why, Cookie warnings can be as simple as a heads-up message, telling the user the website is collecting cookie data.
However, for more complex data collection, the popup can be an in-depth form, presenting every type of data collected and the reasons why this data is collected, including the option for the user to choose which data they are comfortable with giving.
How to remove cookies consent
Whether you explicitly gave your consent to cookie data collection or you simply missed or a sneaky cookie consent message, there is a way to check which websites used cookies to collect your data and remove the saved cookies.
How to remove cookies on Google Chrome
To remove the cookies data from your Chrome browser – both desktop and android mobile devices – go to the More () button then go to History and select Clear browsing data. This will open a tab with browsing saved data, including your browsing history, and saved cookies. So, if you want to remove just the cookies, deselect the other two options and click/tap on Clear data.
Another way to clear cookies on Chrome for desktops is to click on the padlock next to the URL, then Site Settings. This will show you all how many cookies have been collected by the site, as well as permission you allowed on the page. From there, you can click on Clear data to remove it.
How to remove cookies on Safari
To remove your cookie data from Safari – on both desktop and Apple mobile devices – go to Settings, select Clear History and Website data. This will give you the option to remove your browsing history, cookie data, and other browsing data such as saved passwords.
So, to remove just the cookies data, go to Advanced, Website Data and select Remove All Website Data. This will keep your history but remove the cookies.
How to remove cookies on Mozzila
Similar to Chrome, to remove cookies on Mozilla Firefox you have to click on the More button () then go to Privacy and Security. From there, you have to click on Manage Data and either select specific sites you want to clear cookies on or click on Remove All Shown, then Save Changes. Another option is to check the box saying “Remove cookies and all site data when closing the browser”.