Austrian NGO files 422 formal GDPR complaints against ‘cookie banners’

The Austrian civil society group noyb has filed 422 complaints with ten data protection authorities in the EU on the use of “dark patterns” in cookie banners.  After sending a written warning and a “draft complaint” to more than 500 companies on May 31st, 42% of all violations were remedied within 30 days. However, 82% of all companies have not fully stopped violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Max Schrems, Chairperson of noyb, stated that ‘We saw a lot of improvements on many websites and are very happy with the first results. Some major players like Seat, Mastercard or Nikon have instantly changed their practices. However, many other websites have only stopped the most problematic practices. For example, they may have added a ‘reject’ option, but still make it hard to read. The requirement to show a prominent withdrawal option clearly faced the biggest resistance from website owners.’ For the coming months, noyb will aim at the current goal and scan, review, warn and enforce the law on up to 10,000 websites within one year.