European news sites have reduced tracking cookies since GDPR

Since GDPR came into full effect around three months ago, European news sites have reduced their use of tracking cookies by 22%, as indicated by research from the University of Oxford.

This isn’t to say the drop in tracking cookie usage is directly linked to GDPR, but it may have caused webmasters to give their cookie usage a second thought. According to the directives, they now need to obtain consent for it, so that user privacy is not compromised in the process.

Tracking cookie usage in the UK, in particular, is down by 45%. Comparatively, it only seems to be down by 6% in Germany. France, Italy, and Spain are seeing a 30% decrease.

Generally speaking, the report shows that design optimisation cookies are down by 27%, marketing and advertising cookies are down by 14%, and the ones used by social media are seeing a 9% decrease

In order to determine the cookie usage, the report’s authors used the webXray tool. They were counting the cookies between April and July 2018. They noted that some websites actually seem to be blocking the tool, so the actual number of cookies may be higher than the report indicates.

Still, there’s one question that the report cannot answer: how many users have decided to start blocking tracking cookies since the introduction of GDPR? In any case, the new regulations certainly make it harder to obtain blanket consent, which should lead to websites cutting down on enforcing cookies that don’t really deliver any value.