CJEU Judgment on Cookies 2019: How Jimdo is Getting Your Site Ready

More privacy for your visitors, important news for your website: The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has issued a preliminary decision on the use of tracking tools and cookies (find the full judgment here: CJEU, 29.07.2019 – C-40/17).

Based on current legislation, cookies are activated by default on most websites and visitors can object to or “opt-out” of cookies, if they want to. According to the latest CJEU ruling, this interpretation may be subject to change. Under the new interpretation, certain tools, trackers, and cookies may only be used if visitors actively agree to them or “opt-in.”

In this article, we explain what the CJEU‘s decision means for you and some changes we’ll be making to keep your website compliant.

Cookies are small files that can be stored in an internet user’s browser. Cookies allow websites or servers to recognize users, track activities, and create statistics.


CJEU: Visitors must consent to different types of cookies

The decision from the Court of Justice of the European Union was triggered by a dispute over Facebook’s “like” button, which users can also include on their websites. More specifically, it concerned the question, “Who is responsible for the data collected by this button?” Is it the person who owns the website or is it Facebook?

The decision: Facebook and the website owner are both responsible. Many legal experts have inferred a general opinion from this judgment, which applies to all cookies: website visitors must, in their opinion, actively agree to the use of cookies, plug-ins, online marketing, and tracking tools. Experts have coined this the “opt-in obligation.”


The “opt-in obligation” lets visitors decide

You might have heard about the “opt-in obligation” in the media—but what does it mean?

The opt-in requirement means that visitors must be asked if they agree to the use of cookies. This gives internet users more control over their privacy when they’re online.

You’ve probably already seen the “opt-in” feature on other websites. Usually, a message or “cookie banner” pops up giving you the option to accept or reject the use of cookies.


Jimdo will update the cookie notice on your website

The CJEU ruling affects all websites for EU users—whether you have a Facebook button or not.

Of course, we’ll implement the new CJEU ruling for you, so your website can continue to be GDPR compliant. The main difference will be the customized cookie banner:

  • Visitors will still see a message (cookie banner) when they visit your website but it will now include three options: Accept, Decline, and Cookie Preferences
  • This means visitors can actively consent to or reject the use of cookies
  • Cookie Preferences takes visitors to your site’s Cookie Policy page

If you’re using Jimdo Creator, please remember that the “opt-in” function for cookies must be enabled on your site for the GDPR compliant cookie banner to be shown.


Your statistics require cookies

If you notice any fluctuations in your statistics in the coming days, this might be related to the new decision from the CJEU. Statistics can only be collected for visitors who agree to the use of cookies.

But don’t worryaccording to one study, only five percent of users in the EU reject the use of cookies. So you can relax, knowing that any effect on your statistics should be minor.


How will this change your Privacy Policy?

As always, we recommend contacting a legal expert if you’re unsure, as we cannot offer you legal advice.

Your privacy policy could be the same as before. It’s important that you consider all the services you use on your website, including Facebook’s “Like” button. So it’s worth checking regularly to see if something needs fine-tuning because of changes to your website or legal changes.

With Jimdo, your website is well-prepared for the GDPR and legal updates, so you can get back to running your business. We hope this article has given you a good overview of how your website will change following the CJEU ruling!


Markus Bruhn
Markus is an editor and responsible for the text and social media at Jimdo. He previously worked as an author for various media companies in the areas of e-commerce, mobility, and sports. When he's not working, his interests extend to football, music and good books.