Consumer-friendly consent management Good practice initiative for cookie consent management

Project period: 
September 2021 – January 2023

Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection

Project partner:
Prof. Dr. Gerald Spindler, University of Göttingen

In practice, cookie consent on websites and digital services is often designed in a way that is anything but consumer-friendly and sometimes obtained in a legally dubious manner, e.g., through misleading wording, deliberately confusing or manipulative designs of the consent contexts ('dark patterns' and 'deceptive designs'). Many consumers are therefore annoyed by cookie banners and the opaque and complicated opt-out-click-marathons.

Against this background, ConPolicy initiated a good practice initiative on cookie consent with funding from the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) that worked with German and European stakeholders to develop a collection of good practices and recommendations for action on consumer-friendly, legally compliant and practicable cookie consent. German and European companies were persuaded to implement these recommendations for action. Consumers were informed about how they can recognize consumer-friendly consent management systems.

Methodological tools for this good practice initiative were the following: An exchange platform was established to provide a discourse space for companies and civil society. Good practices were collected in several discussion events in Brussels and Berlin. Recommendations for consumer-friendly consent management were derived from this.

The main frame of reference for the discourse and the group of participants is the European level. The results were presented at a Europe-wide online conference on Jan. 26, 2023.

The recommendations for consumer-friendly cookie design have been set out in Cookie Design Guidelines, which are supported by the following stakeholders:

  • Access Now
  • BEUC – The European Consumer Organisation
  • CookieFirst
  • German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection
  • Prof. Dr. Max von Grafenstein, Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF)
  • Privacy International
  • Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG

You can find the Cookie Design Guideslines here.

Project of

Dr. Otmar Lell Project Manager

+49 (0)30 2359116-19

Managing Director

+49 (0)30 2359116-11