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The Israeli Privacy Protection Authority Recommends Obtaining User Consent to Cookies

Publications / Nov 30, 2020

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Article written by Haim Ravia, Dotan Hammer and Adi Shoval

The Israeli Privacy Protection Authority (the “Authority”) issued recommendations on privacy aspects of advanced billing and payment technologies, in which the Authority states for the first time that the use of cookies ought to be subject to the user’s separately given informed consent through an opt-in consent mechanism.

While the data collected through cookies can be used for the necessary operation of the service, it can also be used for other commercial purposes such as targeted advertising. The Authority’s recommendations explain that unlike other forms of data collection, users are often unaware of the collection of their data through cookies.

While other jurisdictions have imposed specific requirements for the use of cookies, such as the EU ePrivacy Directive, the Israeli law does not expressly address the use of cookies and the Authority had kept silent on that matter, until now.

The Authority goes on to explain that users’ consent to cookies is oftentimes the default setting in many technologies. Although users can opt-out, many do not. Since the use of cookies may also entail disclosure to other third parties for commercial purposes, the Authority recommends such use be subject to users’ separate informed consent.

CLICK HERE to read the Israeli Privacy Protection Authority’s opinion (in Hebrew).