Scope of these rules
Techniques other than cookies are often used in an attempt to circumvent the data protection related obligations. Therefore, all the following technologies fall under the category cookies and similar technologies
- Web caching mechanisms
- HTML5 local storage
- “Device fingerprinting”
- “Canvas fingerprinting” and “Evercookies”
- Web beacons
Cookies and similar technologies requiring consent
Cookies and similar technologies that generally DO need consent
- Social plug-in tracking mechanisms
- Third party advertising cookies
- Analytics cookies (except for the exemption described further below)
Cookies and similar technologies that generally do NOT need consent
- User input cookies, for the duration of a session
- Authentication cookies, for the duration of a session
- User centric security cookies, used to detect authentication abuses and linked to the functionality explicitly requested by the user, for a limited persistent duration
- Multimedia content player session cookies, such as flash player cookies, for the duration of a session
- Load balancing session cookies, for the duration of a session
Exceptionally, Data Protection Authorities consider that, due to the low risk for users, prior consent can be skipped in case of first party cookies used for anonymous, aggregate statistics under specific assumptions and safeguards. The web service must although provide the user with a simple, easy-to-use functionality to “opt out” from analytics.
The EU institution must adequately inform users and obtain their consent before setting cookies and any other technology falling within the scope of Article 5(3) of the ePrivacy directive. By default, none of those cookies must be set.
- For all Commission owned websites within the europa.eu domain, consent is managed centrally on domain level by implementing the Cookie Consent Kit. The consent indicated via the mandatory cookie consent kit covers the domain europa.eu.
Regarding the actual cookies on a specific site, the site owner has to check whether the cookies used are already mentioned on the corporate cookies page. If not, DG COMM should be contacted with an inventory of all first- and third-party cookies providing information on their purpose, the type of data collected, stored or transmitted by cookies, and the lifetime of the cookie.
These procedures are dedicated to external and internal developers and web masters of the European institutions. Consequently, features documented below are tailored to the European Commission's content management systems and internal guidelines.
Implementing user consent should be done by implementing the Cookie Consent Kit.
This solution provides the following functionalities
- a wizard to declare your cookies and the link to your cookies notice page
- a corporate‑consent cookie to remember the choice of the user across websites
- a template for the cookie notice page
Directive 2009/136/EC (ePrivacy Directive)
Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 (Data protection regulation for EU institutions)
Contact and support
Within the European Commission, the first level of contact for any data protection related issues is the DG's Data Protection Coordinator (EU Login required).