Interpretation Matters 89: Unending Delights of Cookies

Interpretation matter 89: Cookies and (no) end

In August 2020, Heise Medien GmbH & Co. KG, the publishing house behind heise online, was investigated by the data protection supervisory authority of Lower Saxony. The authority criticized the way heise online obtained consent for setting first and third party cookies, as well as the alternative option of a chargeable “pure subscription” without tracking. Following intensive discussions with the authorities, changes were made to the consent process, and a solution was reached by April 2023. In May, the solution was declared legally compliant.

The process undergone by Heise Medien has been closely followed by other major publishers as a potential model case. Many have been in contact with Heise’s technical and legal managers. Joerg Heidrich, the legal advisor for the publishing house, and Sebastian Hilbig, the Technical Director responsible for the digital infrastructure, discuss the process and the technical challenges faced in a c’t data protection podcast episode.

In another news, the State Data Protection Commissioner of Lower Saxony imposed a fine on a private individual who was found to have taken photographs of young women on the street without their consent. This case has raised concerns about the future of street photography.

The interpretation issue of the podcast will be taking a short summer break and will resume with Episode 90 on August 11, 2023.

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