What does that mean in concrete terms? It means that active consent is required for the storage and retrieval of cookies on the end device of a website visitor. If the consent entails a preset marked checkbox and the default setting would have to be actively deselected by the user in order to refuse his or her consent, consent is deemed to have not been given.
This applies regardless of whether the information stored on or retrieved from the user’s device comprises personal data or not. European Union law should protect the user against any violation of privacy, in particular against the risk of “hidden identifiers” or similar instruments penetrating the user’s device.
Consent must therefore be actively provided for the specific case involved. Activation of the button to participate in a competition in the case before the court would not constitute the user’s effective consent to the storage of cookies. In this context, the service provider is obliged to provide the user with information about the duration of the cookies’ functioning and the potential for third parties to access the cookies.