Cookie Consent Banners Aren't Actually Needed

Techcrunch published an article back in May about dark patterns around cookie consent banners. Besides listing a lot of dark patterns deployed in them, it also cites this quote:

A whole industry of consultants and designers develop crazy click labyrinths to ensure imaginary consent rates. Frustrating people into clicking ‘okay’ is a clear violation of the GDPR’s principles. Under the law, companies must facilitate users to express their choice and design systems fairly. Companies openly admit that only 3% of all users actually want to accept cookies, but more than 90% can be nudged into clicking the ‘agree’ button.

-- noyb chair Max Schrems

If only 3% of users actually want to consent, I think this clearly shows that cookie consent banners are cynical marketing dark patterns in and of themselves. A service is always allowed to employ cookies that are necessary for its core function; things like login cookies or shopping basket cookies. No banner is necessary for this.

Just get rid of every non-essential cookies and the banner itself. Tadaa! Instant legal compliance and a vastly better experience for users! Win-win, except maybe for the marketing department. But your user's clearly don't want to please your marketing department, and your users matter.


The techcrunch article, ironically hidden behind an illegally deceptive cookie consent banner.

-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal