Written by Richard van Schaik and Róbin de Wit
Dutch newspapers report that Dutch websites massively violate privacy laws by passing on information about surf and click behavior of visitors to advertising companies, without permission of the visitors involved. Such information is collected through so-called tracking cookies.
Rules on cookie consent are subject to new legislation under which the required opt-in consent may be changed to implied consent. However, because of the privacy sensitivity the this new legislation will not apply to tracking cookies. This means that the required opt-in consent remains unchanged so that even after a legislative change Dutch websites will still be in violation of the Telecommunications Act. Therefore, parliamentary questions are currently asked to the Dutch state secretary of Justice, Fred Teeven.
Although no sanctions have been imposed yet by the Dutch supervisory authority (Authority for Consumers & Markets (“ACM”)), the ACM does acknowledge that not every website complies with Dutch cookie laws. Currently, the ACM is investigating companies that violate the laws so it is likely that the first fine will be imposed soon.