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Cookie wall returns
The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) actively started enforcing the new cookie provisions legal framework. A number of websites re-installed their cookie wall after receiving a letter from the ACM, according to reports by Geen Stijl and Tweakers.net (Dutch publishing company De Persgroep). It is (not yet) known which other specific websites did also receive a similar notice of the ACM.
Since 10 March 2015 the new cookie provisions apply (see our earlier article from 12 March). These provisions are designed to solve the ongoing problems and nuisances caused by the previous cookie provisions, such as the redundant use of cookie walls.
Because of the uncertainty about the scope of the cookie provisions the ACM was somewhat reluctant with regard to enforcement. Recently however, the ACM seems very actively engaged in warning website proprietors because it suspects them of infringing the cookie provisions. These warnings apparently were enough for the proprietors to introduce the cookie wall again.
Current legal framework
However it is not permitted to use tracking cookies without the prior consent of the user. When a website uses such cookies (consciously or unconsciously through the content of third parties) it must request the users permission prior to entering the website. Applying tracking cookies with the first page view by only entering the URL is not allowed. It seemed a lot of websites used tracking cookies without the prior consent of the user.
The current provisions do allow the use of cookie walls, with exception of government websites. Those websites should be freely accessible without prior consent as a conditon for entring the website.
Duty of care for proprietors