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What is a Cookie Consent Manager? (Everything you need to know in 2024)

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What is a Cookie Consent Manager?

Cookie consent management is a process through which websites obtain user consent from visitors for collecting their data through cookies; this facilitates compliance with various data privacy regulations. A consent management platform (CMP) enables brands to automate their cookie consent management process, making it easier to be compliant in a world of ever-evolving data privacy regulation. A compliant CMP can inform visitors about the types of data they’ll collect and what they will use it for, store visitor consent data and deal with visitor’s requests to make alterations about the data the website has collected about them, including requests to access and erase this data.


But what does consent mean? 


In the world of data privacy, consent as it is defined by various data privacy laws around the globe is the freely given, specific, informed, and clear indication of a user that they wish to have their personal data processed for various purposes, such as advertising. Data privacy laws such as the GDPR or California’s CCPA, which are quite strict, make it very clear that any data collection or data processing without the express consent of the individual who owns the data is a violation and the penalties for this are significantly high.


When and why do I need to get user consent to use cookies and scripts?


This isn’t a simple yes or no answer because of the varied regulations worldwide, but generally, yes. And not just yes, but the consent has to be proper, meaning that it must be:

  • ‍Informed: the user must have a clear understanding of the data being collected and have the ability to opt-in (meaning consent is given prior to data collection) or opt-out (meaning that a data subject can withdraw their consent) of its collection; 
  • Given by means of an affirmative, positive action that cannot be misinterpreted: this means a clear yes or no with no ambiguation, preferably on a cookie-by-cookie basis; 
  • Given prior to the initial processing of the personal data: GDPR requires an opt-in prior to data/cookie collection, while CCPA assumes an opt-in and requires an opt-out mechanism for the consumer; 
  • Dynamic: it must be easy for the user to change their mind and withdraw the consent; 
  • The user has the right to be forgotten: at the user’s request, all of his or her personal data must be properly deleted; 
  • All given consents must be recorded as documentation: this is important! An audit-ready trail of information should be created to show when, where, why, what, and how consent was obtained.

In short, as a general rule, you need to obtain user consent for every type of cookie/third party script you place on a user’s device that is not strictly essential for the functioning of your website; this is the when

You need to obtain user consent for every type of cookie/third party script that is placed on a user’s device which is not a functional cookie, such as marketing cookies, because these cookies collect personal information about the user and the collection of such information without consent is illegal according to data privacy laws around the world, such as the ePrivacy Directive and the GDPR in the European Union, or the California Consumer Privacy Act and other US consumer privacy laws in the United States; this is the why

However, to understand the when and the why, you must first understand cookies and scripts. A cookie is a type of file of information generated by a web server and sent to the user's device (web browser, phone, etc.). Once there, it is stored either for a set amount of time or for the duration of the browsing session of the user, and is used to track users' behavior on a website, analyze their activity, help deliver targeted content, ensure security, and do many more useful things to keep a website running. One example is that cookies help keep the items you picked in your shopping cart. Cookies can be classified as first party, third party, essential, non-essential, and so on, and we have made it easy for you to understand the differences between these in our two part guide on cookies, which you can find here and here

Also, you can learn more about cookies and scripts if you head over to our Knowledge Base. When we speak of cookies in the context of data privacy, data protection laws, such as the e-Privacy Directive, or the CCPA, require that users be asked for their freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous consent for the use of cookies in their browsing session. Users will then have to be given the option to accept all cookies, both essential and non-essential, or to accept only the essential cookies plus any other types of non-essential ones they agree to, if any at all. 

Scripts are pieces of code (JavaScript) that come from another location to the website that a user is visiting. When loaded, these scripts enable cookies that are stored on the user’s device from the other location and which are later on used for tracking or for profiling for the purpose of behavioral advertising. Examples of these include social media sharing buttons (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), advertisements, or videos embedded from Youtube. 


Do I need a Cookie Consent Banner for my website?


Whether you've built your website on WordPress or enlisted the services of a professional web designer, a website’s reach extends globally. For example, for businesses catering to European or Californian citizens, compliance with GDPR and CCPA is crucial. You have an obligation to collect consents for data processing from European visitors and to implement an "opt-out" mechanism for California-based customers.

Even if you believe your website isn't actively collecting data, it likely is! A Consent Management Platform (CMP) is essential for regulatory compliance, but it doesn't cover all your responsibilities. Clym’s CMP offers comprehensive support for various platforms, including WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Webflow, Zyro, Duda, Hubspot, Shopify, Strikingly, and Ucraft. If your website operates on a different platform or uses a custom one, Clym’s CMP is versatile and can be seamlessly integrated on any website.

As global privacy laws continue to evolve, it's imperative for companies to integrate the best cookie consent tool into their tech stack. The rapid establishment of privacy laws worldwide leaves few exceptions. Any company involved in data collection, sharing, buying, or selling should prioritize a dedicated solution for obtaining and managing user consents.

What is required for GDPR cookie consent?

The GDPR’s Recital 30 states the following as regards cookies: 

Natural persons may be associated with online identifiers provided by their devices, applications, tools and protocols, such as internet protocol addresses, cookie identifiers or other identifiers such as radio frequency identification tags. This may leave traces which, in particular when combined with unique identifiers and other information received by the servers, may be used to create profiles of the natural persons and identify them.

What this means is that because cookies can be used to uniquely identify a person, they should be treated as personal data. In effect, those identifiers used for analytics, advertising, and functional services like chats and surveys are covered by the GDPR’s requirements for consent to be obtained before data collection. 

The GDPR is supported and supplemented by the ePrivacy Directive, also known as the “cookie law,” which predates it, and together the two set out the requirements for cookies under the data privacy law of the EU. As such, the GDPR, along with the ePrivacy Directive, require you to do the following: 

  • Obtain users’ consent before you use any cookies other than strictly necessary ones by displaying a cookie consent notice; 
  • Make sure to provide users with information that is accurate, specific, and written in plain language, about each type of cookie and its purpose; unless it is informed, consent is not valid; 
  • Keep a record of consents received from users for audit purposes;
  • Do not discriminate based on a user’s acceptance/refusal of certain types of cookies;
  • Give users a means to withdraw consent that is just as easy as it was for them to give consent in the first place.

Having the right GDPR compliant cookie consent manager means all of the above cookie consent requirements will be covered. 


What is required for CCPA cookie consent?

CCPA follows GDPR in many ways, however one primary difference is that consent is not required prior to collection of consumer data, as it is in GDPR. However, CCPA provides consumers with an “opt-out” mechanism so that consumers can elect to prohibit companies from collecting information about them after they choose to opt out. 

Additionally, CCPA establishes the following responsibilities for covered businesses:

  • ‍Clear disclosure of a cookie policy, or cookie consent notice: a visitor to the website must be given a clear view of the use of cookies in a clean and understandable language; websites cannot hide behind a legal statement, which visitors often overlook;
  • Cookies on the site: a website is accountable to all the data collected. The company is accountable for the safety, management, and storage of collected data. Websites that use third party cookies must be able to manage the data collected;
  • Third party vendors: cookies on websites are often from third party vendors. It is critical to ensure that your vendor agreement clearly have data protection and CCPA compliance clauses;
  • Opt-out of sale of personal information: a visitor must be provided a clear choice to opt-out of sale of personal information. The opt-out choice should be clear and easy to find. This opt out of sale refer to all data; and
  • Manage opt-out and opt-in of sale of personal information: a visitor must have the ability to change (reject or accept) their consent. Websites must have a “Do Not Sell or Share My Information” link on the homepage of their website, in addition to any page which collects data, and allow consumers to easily prohibit companies from selling collected data for a period of 12 months, at which time the company may ask the consumer for permission to resume selling their data.


Most importantly, each such consent must be recorded for reference. 


How can Clym help, you ask? 


Clym’s Cookie Consent Manager is the best cookie consent manager out there. It is a straightforward solution for managing cookie consent across the globe. With our platform, you can effortlessly comply with over 40 international data privacy laws, including GDPR in Europe, LGPD in Brazil, and CCPA in California. There's no need to worry about regulations in different regions; our tool smartly adapts to each area’s requirements using built-in geolocation rules ready to use.

This means that whether your website visitors are from Los Angeles, São Paulo, Paris or Toronto, Clym has you covered. Our system automatically recognizes and applies the appropriate cookie banner rules for each visitor’s location, ensuring you're always in compliance.

Moreover, the world of data privacy is always evolving, and keeping up can be a challenge. Clym takes this burden off your shoulders. Whenever there’s a change in any of the regulations we cover, our system updates your cookie banner automatically. You won't have to monitor legal changes or manually update settings constantly – Clym does it for you.

In summary, Clym’s Cookie Consent Manager is a comprehensive, hassle-free solution for global cookie consent compliance. It's designed for ease of use, ensuring that you stay on the right side of data privacy laws, no matter where your website visitors are located.


What Functionality should a Cookie Consent Manager have?


A Cookie Consent Manager plays a crucial role in ensuring compliance with data protection regulations and upholding user privacy on websites, which means it has to be robust. 

As such it should allow you to obtain prior explicit consent from users, it should offer clear information about types of cookies, purposes, and duration for their storage, and it should allow you to show transparency.  

Clym’s Cookie Consent Manager offers comprehensive functionality, ensuring explicit user consent before any non-essential cookies are allowed. With our tool, website administrators can customize cookie banners with clear information about cookie types, purposes, and storage duration to enhance transparency for visitors, while users are empowered with granular control over cookie preferences, allowing them to opt in or out of specific categories like analytics, advertising, or social media cookies. Our Cookie Consent Manager supports easy consent withdrawal, enabling users to modify preferences at any time. Implement an automatic cookie blocking mechanism for visitors without consent, preventing non-essential cookies from being set without explicit approval. 


What are the countries where Cookie Consent Requirements apply?


There are various data privacy laws around the world currently in force which mandate a consumer’s right to opt-in to data collection and processing. Here are some examples, all of which are covered by Clym’s CMP

  • United States, California — amended California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • United States, Virginia — Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA)
  • European Union (EU) — General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Argentina — Personal Data Protection Law (PDPL)
  • Brazil — General Data Protection Law (LGPD)
  • Canada — Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
  • China — Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL)
  • Colombia — Data Protection Law (Law 1581)
  • Japan — Act on the Protection of Personal Information (APPI)
  • Nigeria — Nigerian Data Protection Act (NDPA)
  • Philippines — Republic Act 10173 (DPA)
  • Singapore — Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA)
  • South Africa — Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA)
  • South Korea — Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)
  • Turkey — Law No. 6698 (KVKK)
  • United Kingdom (UK) — the Data Protection Act (UK GDPR)


Does a cookie consent banner affect SEO?


The answer is more complex than a Yes or No. There is a common misconception that ensuring proper cookie consent means you will have to sacrifice your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ranking because Google will rank your page based on page experience and a cookie consent banner might have a negative impact on your web content. Having a cookie consent banner on your website is a legal requirement and it does not have a direct impact on your website’s SEO but having one that is not implemented correctly can have an indirect impact on a user’s experience and consequently on SEO. Here’s four things to consider: 

  • You need to consider your website’s page load speed. A cookie consent banner that is not implemented correctly will impact the speed at which your page loads. Because page load speed is an determining SEO factor, a good cookie consent banner should not slow down your website. 
  • You need to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. This means that your cookie consent banner also has to be mobile friendly, which means it will respond to every type of browsing experience (phone, tablet, laptop) without disrupting your users’ experience. 
  • You have to ensure that your website is accessible. Web content accessibility is key for user experience, not just because of Google’s favorably ranking your website but also because there are web accessibility regulations in place that mandate that all users must have easy access to your website, regardless of disability. A cookie consent banner that covers parts of your web content or interrupts a user’s navigation means you are non-compliant with web accessibility regulations and that user experience is significantly less pleasant. 
  • You have to ensure legal compliance for your website. Although this is not a direct SEO factor, having a compliant cookie consent banner helps you adhere to data privacy regulations around the world. Compliance with privacy laws such as the GDPR and CCPA is essential for ensuring your users’ trust and can indirectly influence your SEO ranking through improved user satisfaction.

Clym's cookie consent banner is meticulously designed to enhance your users’ experience on your website by consolidating essential features within a lightweight and swiftly loading, yet robust tool. Clym’s innovative solution is designed to optimize the efficiency of your website while ensuring compliance with data protection regulations. By integrating consent management, web accessibility, Data Subject Rights (DSR) management, and legal document management seamlessly into a single Consent Management Platform (CMP), Clym streamlines the user interface and eliminates the need for separate installations for each functionality.

Unlock the full potential of your online presence with Clym's CMP, where user satisfaction meets regulatory compliance. Our all-in-one tool not only simplifies the user experience but also offers a significant advantage to your business by promoting faster loading times and seamless navigation. Say goodbye to the hassle of juggling multiple tools, as Clym empowers you to manage cookie consents, enhance web accessibility, address DSR requests, and handle legal documents—all from a centralized and user-friendly platform. Elevate your website's performance and compliance standards with Clym's comprehensive solution, ensuring a seamless and efficient digital experience for both you and your users.


How can Clym help? 


Clym's revolutionary Cookie Consent Manager is a streamlined solution for global cookie consent management. You can effortlessly go through the intricacies of 40+ international data privacy laws, encompassing GDPR in Europe, LGPD in Brazil, and CCPA in California. Our platform goes beyond compliance; it intelligently adapts to regional regulations through built-in geolocation rules, ensuring seamless adherence to diverse requirements.

In the ever-evolving landscape of data privacy, Clym is your ally, alleviating the challenges of staying current with regulatory changes. Our system takes the burden off your shoulders by automatically updating your cookie banner whenever there's a modification in the covered regulations. Bid farewell to the constant monitoring of legal shifts and manual updates—Clym does the heavy lifting for you.

At Clym, we believe in harmonizing digital compliance with your business needs, offering a suite of benefits, including an all-in-one platform that combines Privacy and Accessibility compliance with global regulations at an affordable price. Experience seamless integration into your website, adaptability to users' locations and applicable regulations, customizable branding, ReadyCompliance™ covering 40+ data privacy regulations, and accessibility options which include six preconfigured accessibility profiles and 25+ display adjustments for visitors to tailor their individual experiences. Clym is not just a solution; it's a commitment to simplifying and enhancing your digital compliance journey.