Meaningful Consent to Collect User Data: Websites Can Expect More Legal Obligations

By Chris Godsall

August 1, 2022


We’ve been talking lately in our blog and social media posts about the topic of “meaningful consent” for user data collection via tracking cookies on websites. As we should be—with 14 billion connected devices worldwide, and 1.6 B websites, it’s a huge issue that bears meaningful discussion.

In many jurisdictions, the rules for collecting user data go beyond the 6 basic principles of meaningful consent that we shared earlier. 

For example, under Canada’s new privacy law, a website is required to explain:

  • How personal information is collected and used.
  • What specific types of information are collected.
  • The potential consequences of sharing private data.
  • Who will see the data collected on a website.

All of this information has to be presented in clear and simple language.

Privacy Law appears equally important to voters on the right as voters on the left.

Take for example the Utah Consumer Privacy Act (UCPA), which joins California, Virginia, and Colorado with new rules that give consumers the right to:

  • Access the personal data that websites processes about them;
  • Delete personal data;
  • Obtain a portable copy of the personal data collected by websites.
  • Opt out of the sale of personal data or targeted advertising.

Most laws are heading in a similar direction, with more obligations to prove meaningful consent and stiffer financial penalties for violating privacy rules

Why is traditional cookie management software struggling to keep up with changes to privacy rules?

Dark UX designs that influence the decision to accept cookies or wording that suggests that the website won’t work properly unless you click “accept cookies”: These are the sort of tools used by traditional cookie management software that are now offside with privacy law.

Getting people to click “accept cookies” has been the main purpose of traditional consent software. Meaningful consent was never the original priority.

At iVirtual, we take a different approach: Our YouOwnYou consent management software makes it possible for people and brands to achieve meaningful consent without the intrusive cookie banners that no one reads.

How do we do it?

We let people choose their own conditions for privacy and we make it easy for websites to accept their visitors’ terms for cookies.

People choosing their own terms for privacy? What a novel idea.

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