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What is Explicit Consent? How to Get It?

Living in the digital era, almost everyone uses the internet. Every user goes to the websites they are interested in or does some research. While users search the internet, they come across ads about the topics they searched for or can save their data to a website so they will not have to log in every time they visit that site. The sites and the companies who own these sites have their own cookie policies for a better user experience. Those cookies collect the user's personal data, give the user relevant ads they come across throughout their experience, and let them keep their data saved on the site so they can take up where they left off.

The top difficulty is to make users accept the cookies on the site to give them a better user experience without getting interrupted during their visit to the site. Otherwise, on every page the user visits within the site, it will reckon them as a new user and ask the user to accept the cookies. Situations like a renewal of the cookie policies will require the user to update their consent. In addition, to create an account or log in, the user has to accept the cookies.

What is Explicit Consent?

There are four types of consent. The type that cookies use is also for internet and digital services, which is called explicit consent. As indicated in the Turkish Personal Data Protection Law (PDPL) numbered 6698, article 3, section A, explicit consent is consent on a specific subject based on the information expressed with the person's free will. For a person to give consent, they should be;

  • Above the legal age (18)
  • Not serve in the army

On top of that, PDPL shows that not all kinds of consent go under the Data Protection Law. The user should understand without a doubt what they are giving consent to, and this consent should be clearly explained. As one of the most common examples, the consent acquired in English from non-English speakers that live in Turkey cannot be considered explicit consent. The user will need to understand clearly what they are giving consent to. Hence explicit consent cannot be counted as explicit.

When and Why Do You Need Explicit Consent?

Users' explicit consent is required to allow data collection for specific user experiences. Explicit consent should be given in words and voluntarily. The users should not be forced to give consent. As a result, the data controllers should approach the users with care. Because the user can revoke their authorization anytime they want. After they revoke the authorization of the data they use, data controllers will not be able to process the data.

As digital platforms improve, new laws are passed to protect users' private data from malicious spreading. The data controllers process the data taken from the user to create a better user experience for that specific user. If the user's data changes, the specific trait changes. As can be seen from this, the collected data is private to the user, and the processed data will only be shown to that user. In the texts of explicit consent given, users should be informed in detail about what they are giving consent for. Such as, in an e-commerce site, the consent text should be specific to the site's content, like the data transformation and risks of the transfer.

How to Get Explicit Consent?

There are many ways to obtain explicit consent. One of which is through the cookie policy that sites use for a better user experience. The consent process is when users are given important information according to the site they will be using. The information includes the benefits, risks, the user's rights, and the date the site will be used to shape the site according to the user's interests. Before going to the next step, the user needs to go through a two-step verification to verify that they acknowledge the information given on the page before giving consent.

As easy as obtaining explicit consent, it should also be easy to withdraw consent without doubt and harm to the user. The data controllers should make it easier for the users to withdraw their consent anytime they want, such as if a user gives consent to an app, but after some time, they want to delete the app, the system should let the user withdraw their consent with ease.

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