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A common type of cookie notification. Figure 2. A common type of cookie notification, exploiting default settings by presenting accepting cookies as the only choice. Company name/logo has been removed for privacy. You can imagine that Hong Kong WhatsApp Number List presenting consent as the default option has far-reaching consequences for the amount of visitors who agree with the displayed cookie settings. Incidentally, this is of course exactly why it is now necessary that visitors actively consent to cookies. However, the way this ‘active consent’ is implemented by many companies is not in line. With the spirit of the GDPR, as the following examples show.

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The ‘hidden option’ The majority (80%) of the websites I’ve researched use default permission in one way or another. This often takes the form of a button with which you can directly consent to all types of cookies. For example, Figure 2 shows a specific variant of a default, a hidden option. Where accepting the cookies is presented as the only choice ( Goldstein et al., 2008 ). This infringes on people’s free choice, because it gives the impression that there is no other choice. Scientific research also shows that the influence of this practice is quite strong.

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Not showing an opt-out button on the first page leads to 22-23% more consent ( Nouwens et al., 2020 ). No free choice More generally, I noticed that in the vast majority of cases refusing permission takes more effort and/or time than accepting cookies. This also ensures that a choice is less ‘free’. You can refuse permission directly in the notification itself, but this is more difficult than accepting the cookies. You can’t refuse in the notification itself, but only by personalizing settings. Flavor 1 Figure 2 shows an example of the first ‘flavor’: Refusing permission is less noticeable. It is not a button, but a hyperlink in lower case letters.

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