DATA PROTECTION | The EDPB on “pay or ok” consent models

On 17 April 2024, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) adopted an opinion on the validity of consent to behavioural advertising on large online platforms expressed by a user through a “pay or ok” model. The EDPB raised concerns regarding the validity of such consent, emphasising that obtaining it does not exempt data controllers from adhering to all the other GDPR principles and obligations. The EDPB recommended that large online platforms should give their users a real choice when developing their subscription plans. This would entail offering an “equivalent alternative” that is free of charge and does not involve behavioural advertising. The EDPB emphasised the need to thoroughly assess whether consent is “freely given”, taking into account any unequal power dynamics between the individual providing the data and the organisation processing it. Additionally, the EDPB pointed out the possible adverse outcomes for individuals who opt not to give their consent, such as being denied access to premium services or professional networks.

Newsletter n. 96 – May 2024