What Does User Consent Mean and Why Does It Matter?

What is User Consent?

User consent is a fairly straightforward concept. At its core, user consent is the permission granted by users to a website or organization to proceed with their data collection. A user’s consent is primarily used for advertising and marketing purposes. Of course, different countries have their own legislations and interpretations of what constitutes a valid ‘user consent’ and how it can be obtained.

Why Is It Important?

So why is user consent of such importance exactly? A few years ago, specifically, the time before the GDPR came into effect, that question may have been more of a moral and ethical one. However, with user consent now a central part of nearly every major data protection law, it is crucial to understand what makes it so important now?

Transparency

Transparency is the first major reason why user consent is so important now. Not so long ago, businesses could have unlimited access to data. One can argue this wasn’t such a bad deal considering unrestricted access to this data allowed businesses to create a personalized browsing experience for users that may have seen impossible.

No Trade Offs

However, it was not uncommon for users that did not allow websites to have this access (consent to cookie tracking), would have a diminished user experience.

Users’ Trust

There was a time when gaining users’ trust meant providing them with what they asked for — in other words, fulfilling the old market mantra of the best product/service having an easier time cementing its reliability.

Giving the Users Greater Control

This is arguably the most visible way in which the elevated importance of user consent has impacted websites. It allows users to curate and, in many ways, customize the kind of browsing experience they want to have and how much data they’re willing to share to achieve it.

Types of Consent

By now, it should be clear that while it is a relatively easy concept to understand, its interpretations can be wildly different depending on the law and the country in question. However, as far as the types of consent are concerned, most privacy laws deal with two distinct categories; Implicit & Explicit Consent.

How Can Securiti Help?

Data compliance has become both a legal and strategic requirement for organizations globally. With an increasing number of countries either having enforced data protection laws or in the process of doing so, organizations must take a proactive approach in ensuring they comply with the provisions set out in each of these laws.

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