97% of Websites at High Risk: Real-Time GDPR and ePrivacy Directive Compliance Insights

Jun 17, 202405 minute read

97% of Websites at High Risk: Real-Time GDPR and ePrivacy Directive Compliance Insights

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97-percent of Websites at High Risk: Real-Time GDPR and ePrivacy Directive Compliance Insights

As the privacy landscape evolves, so do the complexities surrounding data protection laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the ePrivacy Directive. AesirX Privacy Scanner emerges as an essential tool for businesses, offering free assessments and real-time insights to ensure adherence to these stringent regulations.

gdpr and eprivacy directive compliance insights from aesirx

Understanding the Regulatory Framework

GDPR:

Scope: GDPR provides a comprehensive framework for data protection across all personal data processing activities within the EU.

Key Principle: Emphasizes lawful processing, data minimization, transparency, and user rights, such as the right to access, correct, and delete personal data.

ePrivacy Directive:

Scope: Known as the "Cookie Law," the ePrivacy Directive specifically targets the confidentiality of electronic communications, including cookies, tracking technologies, and marketing consent.

Key Principle: Article 5(3) mandates that storing or accessing information on a user’s device requires prior consent, unless strictly necessary for the provision of a service explicitly requested by the user.

Revealing the Compliance Landscape

AesirX Privacy Scanner provides a critical service by categorizing compliance risks into three levels: low, medium, and high. Recent data from over 25,000 privacy scans highlight a concerning reality (data collected 17/06/2024 05:00 GMT+2):

  • High Risk: 97.88% of websites exhibit high-risk levels, failing to meet the stringent requirements of both GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive.
  • Medium Risk: 0.64% show moderate compliance issues that require attention.
  • Low Risk: 1.47% demonstrate strong adherence to these regulations, setting a benchmark for privacy standards.

How the Risk Assessment is Done

The AesirX Privacy Scanner leverages the EDPS Inspection Tool, a robust framework that ensures thorough compliance checks. This tool utilizes the EasyPrivacy list, a widely respected blacklist that helps identify and block tracking technologies that compromise user privacy. By incorporating these advanced resources, AesirX Privacy Scanner can provide accurate and detailed risk assessments, helping businesses understand their compliance status and take necessary corrective actions.

The Implications of High-Risk

The overwhelming prevalence of high-risk results underscores a significant compliance gap. Many website owners believe they are compliant due to assurances from their service providers. However, due to non-compliant solutions as well as a lack of awareness and access to qualified advice, these businesses are at major risk. 

This suggests that business owners either remain unaware of the stringent requirements of GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive or find it challenging to implement effective compliance measures. 

High-risk websites are particularly vulnerable to enforcement actions and the associated financial and reputational repercussions. Continuous monitoring and proactive compliance adjustments are essential to bridge this gap and ensure true adherence to data protection laws.

Ensuring Seamless Compliance

Here are a few simple steps to help achieve GDPR and ePrivacy Directive compliance using AesirX Privacy Scanner:

  1. Begin by visiting the AesirX Privacy Scanner website.
  2. Enter your website's URL to initiate the scan.
  3. Review the detailed compliance report provided.
  4. Utilize the Privacy Advisor AI or ChatGPT Privacy Advisor for personalized guidance on compliance queries.
  5. Implement the recommended solutions to strengthen your website's privacy practices effectively. 

Why First-Party Solutions Matter

First-party analytics, like those provided by AesirX Analytics and Matomo Analytics, also require prior consent under the ePrivacy Directive Article 5(3). This directive mandates explicit consent for storing or accessing any information on a user’s device unless strictly necessary for providing a service explicitly requested by the user. Many businesses mistakenly rely on GDPR’s legitimate interest clause, but the ePrivacy Directive’s requirements are more stringent, emphasizing the need for prior consent.

Third-Party; The Compliance Challenge

Third-party consent solutions like CookieBot and CookieInformation have been widely used by businesses to manage user consent for cookies and trackers. However, these solutions often fall short of compliance with the ePrivacy Directive. The main issue lies in their method of operation, which typically involves loading third-party scripts before obtaining user consent. This practice directly contravenes Article 5(3) of the ePrivacy Directive, which requires explicit consent before any information is stored or accessed on a user's device.

The November 14, 2023 guidelines from the EDPB have made it unequivocally clear that third-party tracking or consent solutions cannot be loaded without prior consent. 

This clarification highlights that consent must be obtained first, effectively nullifying any attempt to bypass this requirement through GDPR exceptions. This is particularly relevant for businesses using third-party consent management platforms, as their business model is no longer valid if they load scripts prior to gaining user consent.

Ensuring Compliance; First-Party Foundation

The AesirX First-Party Foundation is designed to be seamlessly compliant with both GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive. By focusing on a privacy-by-design approach, our solutions ensure that user consent is obtained before any data is collected or processed. This approach not only meets the stringent requirements of Article 5(3) but also fosters greater trust between website owners and their visitors by respecting user privacy and providing transparent data practices.

By adopting first-party solutions like AesirX Analytics, AesirX Business Intelligence and AesirX First-Party Server as in the AesirX First-Party Foundation, businesses can avoid the pitfalls associated with third-party consent solutions and ensure they remain seamlessly compliant with all relevant data protection laws.

Taking Action: Start With a Scan

The real-time statistics from AesirX Privacy Scanner reveal the significant privacy challenges that websites face today. By leveraging this tool, businesses can actively protect user data and demonstrate their commitment to GDPR and ePrivacy compliance. Don’t wait until non-compliance becomes costly. Start with a free scan using AesirX Privacy Scanner today and begin your journey toward achieving exemplary data privacy standards.

Ronni K. Gothard Christiansen // VikingTechGuy 

Creator, AesirX.io

References

About the AesirX Privacy Scanner

The AesirX Privacy Scanner is a powerful tool designed to ensure that websites comply with the stringent requirements of the ePrivacy Directive and GDPR. Using the EU's EDPS (European Data Protection Supervisor) Inspection Tool, the AesirX Privacy Scanner conducts thorough scans of websites to identify non-compliant elements, including cookies, trackers, and beacons. 

AesirX also offers a free Privacy Advisor AI Assistant that helps to explain the scanned results from the EDPS Inspection Tool and offers concrete recommendations on what is needed to resolve compliance issues found in the scan result. 

By leveraging these tools, businesses can receive detailed reports and actionable insights to rectify compliance issues and avoid potential fines.

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