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Google Updates Cookie Consent Banner in Europe to Avoid Future GDPR Fines

Simon Coulthard December 29, 2022

2-minute read

Google plans to make a significant change to its cookie policy, and will include a "reject all" button in its cookie banners. 

The internet giant has received a lot of criticism and fines in recent years for making it difficult for users to reject cookies and for trying to persuade them to accept them all.

A snapshot of Google's updated cookie consent popup has been made available. The new popup will initially be accessible on French YouTube, but will be rolled out universally afterwards.

However, the business claims that it intends to implement the new look across all Google services in Europe.

Read more about this topic on Google’s blog.

How Google Changed its Cookie Banners

Online services are required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the EU to get explicit consent from their users before processing personal data. In order to be legally correct, consent must be informed, precise, and freely provided.

The revised design for Google’s cookie banner was released a few months after Google was fined €150 million by France's data watchdog, the CNIL, for breaking French law. 

This happened because Google did not give users the option to reject cookies, instead only giving them the option to opt-in to tracking, often known as the "cookie banner" or "cookie popup".

When launching this new update, a Google spokesman said, “Based on these conversations and specific direction from France’s Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), we have now completed a full redesign of our approach, including changes to the infrastructure we use to handle cookies.”

Here’s the new design:

As you can see, the selections at the bottom of the screen are vastly different, which is more essential. Users' choices in the previous design were "I Agree" and "Customize."

If you chose "Customize," Google would direct you to a different webpage with a variety of choices. You had to click "off" three times and then accept to turn off all personalization options.

There are now three buttons thanks to the updated layout. In addition to the current buttons, a new "Reject All" button allows you to completely reject tracking with just one click.

Google acknowledges that it had to make some deeper changes to its infrastructure in order to provide customers with this basic interface. Although none of this really alters how you'll use Search or YouTube, more transparency is always welcome.

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