Cookie Consent and Privacy: Informed Consent Best Practices (Part 3)

Cookie Consent and Privacy: Informed Consent Best Practices (Part 3)

In Part 1 of this blog series, we explored the consumer consent lessons that can be learned from sectors that have long grappled with consent. Our “hypothesis” is a simple one: specific industries that existed well in advance of the hyper digitalized world we live in today are well-practiced at working through consent issues. In Part 2 we analyzed the connections between cookie consent, brand trust, and revenue.  In Part 3, we further explore and provide examples of informed consent.


The results from the TrustArc 2020 Global Privacy Benchmarks Survey generally confirmed our hypotheses in Part 1, although we saw a great deal of variation in self-reported performance in every sector. Of the 16 industries that we covered, the seven industries on TrustArc’s Global Privacy Index that ranked above the global mean were respectively:



It is easy to see why many companies have not embraced informed consent. Despite consumer complaints about privacy, the vast majority of people are easily distracted from insisting on it through a frictionless approach to “yes”. Even more concerning, experimental research has shown that with even a small incentive, consumers will forgo others’ consent (for a good overview of this eye-opening phenomena, see the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research by Susan Athey on “the privacy paradox”). 


Nonetheless, it’s safe to assume that most companies are both competent at what they do and that their various stakeholders hold them to standards of integrity. So while first impressions matter and something as simple as upfront cookie consent provides the first glimpse into a brand’s integrity, lasting imp ..