BGH i.S. Planet49: Tracking coo­kies only with acti­ve consent

Update (12.08.20): The full text is e.g. here available.


Yester­day, the Ger­man Federal Court of Jus­ti­ce (BGH) han­ded down its ruling in the case of Planet49 ( I ZR 7/16) (which was refer­red to the ECJ deci­si­on in the case of Planet49 had led).

So far only the Media release avail­ab­le. It sta­tes that

  • the set­ting of Coo­kies at least then a Con­sent if the­se are used to crea­te user pro­files for adver­ti­sing or mar­ket rese­arch. This does not fol­low from the GDPR, but from a Direc­ti­ve-com­pli­ant (and legal­ly crea­ti­ve) inter­pre­ta­ti­on of the Ger­man Tele­me­dia Act (i.e., com­pli­ant with Art. 5(3) of the e‑Privacy Direc­ti­ve, accord­ing to which coo­kies that are not “strict­ly necessa­ry” requi­re consent);
  • this con­sent not in GTC becau­se such con­sent would con­sti­tu­te an “unre­a­son­ab­le dis­ad­van­ta­ge” (i.e., from a Swiss per­spec­ti­ve, it would be abusi­ve in the sen­se of the con­tent con­trol under unfair com­pe­ti­ti­on law);
  • a con­sent also not by pre­set check­box can be obtai­ned, and alrea­dy befo­re the GDPR could not;
  • this legal situa­ti­on has not chan­ged as a result of the GDPR.

In Ger­ma­ny, it is thus clear that at least cer­tain coo­kies always requi­re con­sent, even if no per­so­nal data should be pro­ces­sed via the­se coo­kies, and that this con­sent can only be given actively.

Com­ments on the judgment have e.g. Simon Assi­on authored