Belgium

cookielaws

BEsmall Belgium

Data Protection Authority

Commission for the Protection of Privacy, CPP [English] (Commissie voor de bescherming van de personlijke levenssfeer, CBPL [Dutch], Commission de la protection de la vie privée, CPVP [French])

Guidance

The CPP published recommendations on the use of cookies on February 2015 (Dutch/French). For the online advertising industry, the following relevant topics are covered in the recommendations:

  • How to get consent as a website publisher: paragraphs 47, 48, 212-215.
  • Recommendations for advertisers to ensure consent is given: paragraph 61.
  • The role of advertising networks and independent advertisers under Belgian law: paragraph 186-192.

Compliance Method: Cookie Banners

Under the Belgian implementation of the Data Protection Directive, consent has to be given through a positive action indicating the user’s wishes either explicitly or implicitly. In practice, this can be done through various methods, the least intrusive being the use of a cookie banner.

A cookie banner is a banner which appears at the top or bottom of the webpage, which informs users that cookies are in use, with a link to a more detailed information page about the website’s cookie policy. The amount of information that needs to be included in the banner varies per Member State.

In Belgium, the banner has to meet 3 critieria: (1) the banner has to be sufficiently visible, in a way that cannot be missed by the user, (2) the banner has to state clearly that continuing to browse the website by clicking on a link on the page will be considered consent, and lastly (3) the banner has to remain visible until the user has chosen to browse further.

Under the Belgian implementation, cookies may only be used after the user has given consent; cookies cannot be dropped until after the user has browsed further. This means in practice that the user has made the choice to browse further on a website after being presented with a banner, by clicking on an image or link on the page. At that point the user has consented to the use of cookies.

Implementing Legislation

Article 129 of the Telecommunications Act (Dutch/French) implements the Cookie Provision of the ePrivacy Directive quite directly, however it makes two references to the general data protection law of Belgium, one regarding the definition of consent (the same definition must be used), and one regarding the legal justifications for data processing. In the third paragraph of Article 129, the law provides that getting consent for storing or accessing data stored on a user’s computer does not release the controller from the obligations of Data Protection law. In Belgium, the cookie provision is not a lex specialis to the Data Protection law, meaning that both sets of rules apply to data processing through the use of cookies.

Table of National Implementations

 

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Austria

BEsmall

Belgium

BGsmall

Bulgaria

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Switzerland

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Cyprus

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Czech
Republic

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Germany

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Denmark

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Estonia

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Greece

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Spain

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Finland

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France

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Croatia

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Hungary

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Ireland

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Italy

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Lithuania

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Luxembourg

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Latvia

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Malta

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Netherlands

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Norway

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Poland

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Portugal

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Romania

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Sweden

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Slovenia

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Slovakia

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UK

 

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