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What people miss about the new GDPR notices, compared to cookie warnings of yore, is that they offer you the choice of opting out.

In my experience, the option is usually hidden (look for “options”). But a surprising number of sites do actually comply and make this not prohibitively obscure.




It was my clear understanding that "pre-checked boxes" would be illegal. Meaning that if you want to have 200 trackers on a page, then the user needs to click accept to all 200 trackers. So that if you just dismiss the "Cookie warning", you would be default get no tracking. That pretty much solves the issue right there, most people would effectively have zero tracking.


Some of them make the process as slow and painful as possible (I've seen one where you need to deselect a huge number of pre-checked boxes, and then you need to wait through an excrutiatingly long and artificial 'applying preferences' process bar before you are permitted to continue. The website then forgets this preference the next time you visit it). This is directly against GDPR and I hope that companies engaging in these practices to try and make sure as few users as possible opt out get slapped as hard as they can by the regulators.


I think Troy's point though is that if you understand the situation. You already have lots of tools at your disposal to opt out. It's not easy, but you know and can to some extent do it.

Meanwhile everyone else doesn't understand these pop ups, doesn't know anything more post GDPR, and they just roll through them and get tracked just the same.

In effect we have big annoying pop ups and little seems to have changed. If we care about the ideas behind GDPR, I think we have to recognize that it may be failing miserably in practice.




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