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Supervisor fines Knack and Le Vif €50,000 of GDP for pop-up cookie – IT Pro – News

Belgian publisher Roularta received a fine of 50,000 euros due to the GDP due to dark patterns In the cookie policy on the Knack and Le Vif news sites. The sites set cookies before visitors could refuse them and were not properly informed.

the fine For Roularta Media Group, publisher of news sites talent And Le Vivo† In 2019, the Data Protection Authority launched an investigation into twenty popular Belgian news websites, including HLN, VTM, Het Nieuwsblad, VRT and De Tijd. This fine is the first result of that investigation. It may also follow fines or decisions for other sites, but these investigations are not yet complete.

The Data Protection Authority found that the signatories were in violation of the General Data Protection Regulation in three ways. One is that sites install cookies before visitors can consent. There are several: Knack places 66 cookies, 48 ​​of which come from third parties. Le Vif relates to 60 cookies, 44 of which are from third parties. The Data Protection Authority calls only two of these cookies “absolutely necessary”. By doing so, the publisher is violating both Article 6 of the General Data Protection Regulation and the Belgian Electronic Communications Act.

Both websites also place statistical cookies without users’ consent. Privacy admin is particularly critical dark patterns which websites use to enforce acceptance of cookies. GBA writes: “The boxes for consent to the installation of cookies by third parties have already been checked previously.” This means that visitors have not been given unequivocal permission to set cookies. It was also later shown that cookie consent “cannot be revoked as easily as it was given”. Finally, visitors will not be properly notified of which cookies are being placed. The Cookie Policy is not clear about the ‘need to use third party cookies’. Also, the cookie names do not match what is in the popup and it is not clear how long the cookies are stored.

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Remarkably, Knack and Le Vif use a cookie wall from IAB Europe. This has created the Transparency and Consent Framework, a tool through which websites can request consent for cookies. That tool was criticized earlier this year when the Belgian regulator declared illegal† In this regard, the verdict is not surprising, but what is particularly striking is that many of the parties from which Knack and Le Vif placed cookies were not known to the IAB. “Of the 449 partners listed on the Knack and Le Vif sites, 312 have not been validated or are no longer validated by the IAB,” writes GBA.

The publisher will be fined 50,000 euros for these violations. Roularta can still appeal against this.