The Article 29 Working Party (WP29) issued an Opinion on the cookie consent exemption, stating in particular that cookies such as analytics cookies, 'are not likely to create a privacy risk', and thus should be exempted from the informed consent requirement if they are not used for additional purposes.
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''The Opinion is helpful in that it provides some much needed clarity for businesses struggling to understand which cookies are and aren't exempt from the consent requirement'', said Phil Lee, Partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse. ''Also welcome is the fact that it widens the net of cookies previously thought to be exempt to include certain functionality and user preference cookies. However, the Opinion also represents a missed opportunity. Ultimately, most sophisticated commercial websites will still need to obtain consent for most of their cookies. Rather than delivering a very technical analysis of the limited groups of cookies which are exempt from consent then, it would have been far more helpful had the Opinion explored how consent might actually be obtained in practice - in particular, to acknowledge the validity of implied consent mechanisms and to encourage pan-European consent consistency rather than the patchwork of requirements we see evolving today.''