IDC Names Securiti a Worldwide Leader in Data Privacy


Irish Guidance on Consent & Cookies – Grace Period ends on 5 October

Published October 1, 2020 / Updated December 4, 2023

Listen to the content

irish consent

On 6 April, the Data Protection Commission of Ireland (DPC) released a substantive Guidance Note on cookies (Guidance) and provided organizations a grace period of six months to ensure compliance. After the end of the six-month window, which is 5 October 2020, the Irish DPC may act to enforce the Guidance and can hold organizations liable for failing to obtain valid consent before the processing of cookies.

This Guidance was issued based on the report released by the DPC on the findings of a “cookie sweep survey”. The survey was conducted on around 38 organizations operating within the territory of Ireland and around 35 of those companies were found to be significantly lacking in cookie compliance requirements. The DPC noticed the following non-compliance practices of organizations, among others:

  • Dropping of non-essential cookies on landing pages without obtaining user’s consent,
  • The lifespans of most cookies that are dropped are not proportionate to the purposes of the cookies,
  • Inadequate cookie banners,
  • Frequent use of pre-checked boxes for the processing of non-essential cookies,
  • A lack of stand-alone cookie policies,
  • Failure to fulfill the requirements of a valid consent as per the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Irish e-Privacy Regulations.

Based on its identification of the above non-compliance areas, the Irish DPC released the comprehensive Guidance for organizations. The Guidance explains the purposes of cookies as well as it adheres to the requirements of the GDPR, e-Privacy Directive, and the Guidelines on Consent of the European Data Protection Board, released on 4 May 2020 that declared cookie walls invalid.

Read EDPB’s Updated Guidelines on Consent

The Guidance also complements the landmark decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Planet49 case that declared the use of pre-checked boxes as an invalid mechanism of obtaining users’ consent.

Key Points:

Some of the key points of the DPC Guidance are set out below:

Data controllers must obtain valid consent of users before the processing of cookies except the processing of strictly necessary cookies and communication cookies, i.e. cookies that are processed for carrying out the transmission of a communication over a network. A user’s consent must be freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous as per Article 4(11) of the GDPR.

Multiple purposes

Data controllers must allow individual cookie selection by purposes and the user’s consent must be specific to each purpose of the cookie.

Data controllers must allow users to withdraw their consent to the processing of cookies via a user-friendly and easy method.

In order to ensure that the cookie banner complies with the applicable legal requirements, data controllers must give equal prominence to “accept” and “reject” buttons on the cookie consent banner. Moreover, the cookie banner must contain a link to the privacy policy and cookie policy providing detailed and further information. The use of wordings such as “by your continued use of the website – either through clicking, using, or scrolling it – consent to the processing of cookies will be assumed” is not allowed.

Privacy Center
Fully Functional In Minutes

Elegant Consumer Frontend, Fully Automated Backend, Privacy Regulation Intelligent Everywhere.


'The duration of each cookie must be proportionate to its purposes.

Transparency requirement

Data controllers must provide clear and comprehensive information to users about the use of cookies before the processing of cookies and ensure compliance with the transparency obligations of the GDPR.

No pre-checked boxes

Data controllers are not allowed to use pre-checked boxes for the processing of non-essential cookies.

Data controllers must reaffirm the user’s consent after every six months.

Controller-processor contracts

Data controllers must arrange controller-processor contracts when they use a third-party payment company to process payments for goods or services of the data controller. In such a case, the controller-processor contract must be in accordance with the requirements of Article 28(3) of the GDPR.

Mandatory data protection impact assessments

Data controllers must conduct data protection impact assessments for certain types of data processing such as processing that involves systematic monitoring or tracking of individuals’ locations.

The DPC acknowledges the use of Consent Management Platforms. Data controllers must maintain records of users’ consents as part of the processing activities as per the requirements of Article 30 of the GDPR.

How Securiti can help?

This Guidance Note reminds data controllers that they need to comply with the requirements of the valid consent before the processing of cookies as per the GDPR and e-Privacy Directive. Data controllers must bring their cookie consent practices in line with the DPC’s Guidance Note before 6 October to avoid any penalties for non-compliance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The cookie policy in Ireland, like in many other European countries, is governed by the ePrivacy Directive and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Websites in Ireland are required to obtain user consent for non-essential cookies and provide clear information about their use. The Data Protection Commission (DPC) in Ireland oversees data protection and privacy issues, including compliance with cookie policies.

Data protection in Ireland is regulated by the Data Protection Commission (DPC), an independent authority responsible for enforcing data protection laws, including the GDPR and the Data Protection Acts. The DPC ensures that organizations operating in Ireland comply with data protection regulations and investigates data protection breaches.

Under the GDPR, organizations in Ireland can face significant fines for data protection violations. Penalties can include fines of up to €20 million or 4% of the company's global annual revenue, whichever is higher, for serious breaches of data protection laws.

Anas Baig

Authored by Anas Baig

Anas Baig is a Product Marketing Manager with a proven track record in the cybersecurity industry. He has been a prominent contributor to numerous esteemed publications, including Infosecurity Magazine, CSO Online, Tripwire, Security Affairs, Network Computing, Security Boulevard, and several other renowned cybersecurity blogs.His in-depth knowledge and extensive experience in the industry make him a trusted source for cutting-edge insights and information in the ever-evolving world of cybersecurity.

Join Our Newsletter

Get all the latest information, law updates and more delivered to your inbox


More Stories that May Interest You

At Securiti, our mission is to enable enterprises to safely harness the incredible power of data and the cloud by controlling the complex security, privacy and compliance risks.


Gartner Cool Vendor Award Forrester Badge IAPP Innovation award 2020 IDC Worldwide Leader RSAC Leader CBInsights Forbes Security Forbes Machine Learning G2 Users Most Likely To Recommend