Daily DashboardEuropean Data Protection Digest

Working Party Clarifies "Consent"

July 18, 2011

The Article 29 Working Party has offered clarification on the idea of consent as the basis for data processing. The July 13 opinion includes recommendations for improving the concept of consent in the review of the EU data protection framework. The opinion notes that "only statements or actions, not mere silence or inaction, can constitute valid consent." The ability to withdraw consent should also be guaranteed, the Working Party states. When signing on to a social networking site, for example, default settings do not imply consent to make personal information available. Privacy professionals say that the opinion will be controversial and that the Working Party's opinion takes the most conservative approach wherever there is room for interpretation.
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