Tracking Walls, Take-It-Or-Leave-It Choices, the GDPR, and the ePrivacy Regulation

European Data Protection Law Review, Volume 3, Issue 3, p. 353-368.

34 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2018  

Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius

University of Amsterdam - IViR Institute for Information Law (IViR)

Sanne Kruikemeier

University of Amsterdam

Sophie Boerman

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)

Natali Helberger

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR)

Date Written: March 15, 2018

Abstract

On the internet, we encounter take-it-or-leave-it choices regarding our privacy on a daily basis. In Europe, online tracking for targeted advertising generally requires the internet users’ consent to be lawful. Some websites use a tracking wall, a barrier that visitors can only pass if they consent to tracking by third parties. When confronted with such a tracking wall, many people click ‘I agree’ to tracking. A survey that we conducted shows that most people find tracking walls unfair and unacceptable. We analyse under which conditions the ePrivacy Directive and the General Data Protection Regulation allow tracking walls. We provide a list of circumstances to assess when a tracking wall makes consent invalid. We also explore how the EU lawmaker could regulate tracking walls, for instance in the ePrivacy Regulation. It should be seriously considered to ban tracking walls, at least in certain circumstances.

Keywords: privacy, data protection, cookie wall, tracking wall, take-it-or-leave-it, GDPR, General Data Protection Regulation, survey

JEL Classification: K12, K00, D10, D11, D20, D30, D40, D60, D70, L00, L11, L20, L51

Suggested Citation

Zuiderveen Borgesius, Frederik and Kruikemeier, Sanne and Boerman, Sophie and Helberger, Natali, Tracking Walls, Take-It-Or-Leave-It Choices, the GDPR, and the ePrivacy Regulation (March 15, 2018). European Data Protection Law Review, Volume 3, Issue 3, p. 353-368. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3141290

Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - IViR Institute for Information Law (IViR) ( email )

Amsterdam
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.ivir.nl/employee/zuiderveen-borgesius/

Sanne Kruikemeier

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Sophie Boerman

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR) ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Natali Helberger

University of Amsterdam - Institute for Information Law (IViR) ( email )

Kloveniersburgwal 48
1012 CX Amsterdam
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.ivir.nl

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