Build a data strategy
Define actions
Assess your data maturity

Consent management: what good consent management looks like, and how to achieve it

Since the GDPR regulation, every website and app needs a cookie banner. Unfortunately, it’s often nothing but a cosmetic solution that doesn’t work properly. So what should a cookie banner look like, and how do you go about it? Find out in our third installment of Tricks of the Trade.

What is consent management?

In short, consent management is a compliance practice that informs users what kind of data you’re collecting, and what you will do with it.

Practically speaking, consent management is usually the cookie banner you see on every app and website nowadays. This banner informs users on what kind of data is collected on the platform, and it lets them consent to being tracked.

Why is it important?

First of all, you need proper consent management to be compliant with GDPR regulations. Secondly, informing your users transparently on what kind of data you’re collecting tells them a lot about your organization. If your consent management is shoddy, this will reflect poorly on your organization as a whole.

What does good consent management look like?

Your cookie banner needs to reflect accurately what kind of data you’re collecting. Cookies are usually split into four categories:

  • Essential cookies
    These are cookies necessary to make the website or app function properly. For instance: an e-commerce website needs cookies to remember what products a user has in their cart.
  • Analytics (or performance) cookies
    Cookies that track the overall usability or performance of a website or app, for instance a cookie that tracks how much time visitors spend on a certain webpage, or that checks if the purchase flow on a website is intuitive enough.
  • Targeting (or marketing) cookies
    These are the cookies that track your behavior to offer personalized ads and offer a better user experience on the internet. Targeting cookies are usually (but not necessarily) third-party cookies.
  • Social cookies
    Social media cookies allow you to log in on a website or app using your social media profiles, and they allow the exchange of information between the social medium and the website or app.

Each of the categories needs a toggle button on your cookie banner. In other words: users should be able to consent to each individual category. A lot of websites and apps have an ‘allow all cookies’ button, but users should always have the option to toggle each button.

This all may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many websites and apps have a cookie banner that’s not regulatory, or doesn’t actually let users consent to the individual categories. Investing some effort into a compliant and user-friendly cookie banner will create trust for your users, and you will sleep on both ears knowing you’re taking the privacy of your users at heart.