Global: How consumers respond to cookies disclosures
August 13th, 2021, Hoang Nguyen

Global: How consumers respond to cookies disclosures

Browser cookies are packets of data that help websites remember and recognize consumers. When people visit a website, a cookie is stored on their browser and tracks information about how the site is used, which items consumers have added to their carts and what they download. Cookies can enhance the user experience on a site, especially when it comes to online shopping, and have long enabled companies to understand their customers’ web activity.

Consumers have become increasingly concerned about who controls their personal data

in recent years, however, and laws have been passed in places around the world such as Europe and California forcing websites and companies to be transparent of how they collect and use people’s data.

One of the most visible impacts of data privacy regulations are pop-up cookies disclosures. These notifications ask for consent to place a cookie on consumers’ computers often with options to accept them, reject them all or manage them if rejecting them all outright hampers how a website is supposed to run.

YouGov asked consumers in 17 markets about what they do upon seeing cookie disclosures. Consumers covered by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in countries such as Poland, Spain, the UK and Sweden are more likely to agree they always ‘accept all’ cookies after being asked for consent.

There are a few exceptions though, with consumers in France, Germany and Denmark nearly as likely to agree as disagree that they tend to accept all cookies permissions.

The US stands out as the country with consumers most likely to disagree they accept all cookies when asked for consent. Just a third of US consumers agree they accept all cookies while 42% disagree.

There are key differences by age, with older Americans nearly twice as likely to disagree (50%) that they accept all cookies as those who say they agree (28%). On the other hand, young adults under the age of 34 are especially likely to say they tend to accept all cookies permissions (40%).

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Methodology:The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 509 and 2005 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in June2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.

Image: Getty