Upcoming relief for the strict Dutch cookie-regime?

By Gerrit-Jan Zwenne, Berend van der Eijk


A recent proposal aims to introduce a de-facto lighter regime for so-called first party cookies used for analytics and statistics.

On 21 November 2012, a proposal was filed by the Dutch liberal party D66 to liberate websites from the strict Dutch cookie regime. Under the proposal, if those websites use cookies for statistical and analytical purposes only, cookies would not require an expressed consent as this is generally the case in The Netherlands. According to Kees Verhoeven, MP for D66, the current cookie-legislation causes problems and creates a lack of clarity in practice. A more lenient regime for first party analytic cookies could fall within the scope of the current legislation as a matter of interpretation.

The proposed interpretation seems to take the recent opinion of the article 29 Working Party into account, in which the Working Party considers that “first party analytics cookies are not likely to create a privacy risk when they are strictly limited to first party aggregated statistical purposes.” This nuance has been adopted in the proposal as well, where it is noted that the lighter regime only applies in case the data is only aggregated for analytical purposes and not shared with other entities. The minister of Economic Affairs seems willing to anticipate to the European developments and potential amendments of the ePrivacy Directive.

The proposal is backed by many stakeholders including the Dutch Dialogue Market Association, the IAB and Branch Association VNO-NCW, who argue that this could be a considerable relief for many websites that use first party analytics tools.

It is now up to the Minister to table a proposal for further steps before the end of 2012. For more of an overview of our coverage of Dutch and European cookie-legislation, please click here.

Related newsletters:

- Condensed translation of OPTA's cookie FAQ

- Dutch regulator OPTA plans on cookie supervision by automated means

- Overview of the new rules

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Berend van der Eijk

Berend van der Eijk


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