Cookie information, also often called “cookie banners” or “consent banners”, are a relatively recent phenomenon brought about by the General Data Protection Regulation. Since the GDPR came into force in 2018, it has been necessary to inform users about the setting of specific cookies and to obtain their consent when personal data is stored, processed or passed on. The more appropriate term would therefore also be consent banner rather than cookie banner, as it is not just about cookies but in particular about consent to the processing and transfer of personal data.
What many people do not know: There are ways to avoid cookie banners on your own website. Mostly it is the tracking of users on the website and the embedding of fonts by providers such as Google Fonts that make cookie banners necessary. We will show alternatives to this, so that you can say goodbye to cookie banners. First, however, let’s clarify what we are dealing with in the case of a cookie.
Example: typical cookie banner or consent banner. Source: github.com
Hosting Fonts Locally #
Many websites use Google Fonts, a font visualization service provided by Google. This service allows fonts to be included directly on websites for free via APIs.
The problem with this: The use of Google Fonts is not allowed without the consent of the users, because according to a German court decision of January 2022, the use of Google Fonts without consent is not GDPR-compliant. If you want to use Google Fonts, you must obtain the consent of the user in advance.
A simple alternative to this is to host the fonts on your own server. Hosting fonts locally means that the fonts are stored on your own server and that the fonts are not integrated via an external service (as is the case with Google Fonts, for example). This also means that no data is transmitted to third parties, which eliminates the reason why consent is required.
Know Your Cookies #
Depending on which other (external) services you use on your website, other cookies may also be used. It is important to always know which specific cookies are used, what they are used for and why they are necessary — and to make this information clearly available to users. At the same time, you should always ask yourself the question: Do I really need these cookies or is there an alternative to avoid the setting of certain cookies, thus also giving me the option of not using the cookie banner?
If the cookies are actually needed and they require a cookie information for the users, then this should also be designed GDPR-compliant. Because even if cookie banners are set, it does not automatically mean that they are used correctly. For example, misleading designs are often used which are intended to make rejecting cookies extremely complicated and difficult.
Better safe than sorry: Especially when it comes to data protection, website operators should act fairly and, above all, in compliance with the GDPR with respect to users.