Let's say someone offers you 50 bucks if you opt-in to a consent; would that consent be still considered freely given in the eyes of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)?

My understanding is that this would definitely not be okay, but it has reached my ears that someone with more legal education than me claims that this would be okay.

PS. For the record, I am not planning on doing this, just asking out of interest.

  • Sounds pretty free to me, as long as no threats were involved. Course, i'm from the US.
    – cHao
    Dec 19, 2017 at 17:42
  • @cHao Freely given consent is a term in the GDPR. And no, I personally wouldn't consider "Hey, we are Google, you can use our search engine if you allow us to sell your private data to third parties. Do you agree?" a freely given consent. So the GDPR explicitly protects against that. It however gets in some people's eyes more muddy when it's a more generic unrelated incentive. Dec 20, 2017 at 8:49
  • In the US, that would in fact be "freely given consent" as well. Google is not obligated to provide you services, and you are not obligated to use Google's search engine. There is no compulsion involved in Google's saying "these are the terms under which we provide this service you have a choice to not use".
    – cHao
    Dec 20, 2017 at 14:06
  • 1
    install things like ad blockers. GDPR is a very progressive attempt to fix this by requiring active consent from users for their personal data to be processed, and there can be no negative consequences from not giving consent (which is what the 'freely' given is about) beyond the direct purpose of the data processing. Dec 20, 2017 at 14:55
  • 3
    That entire viewpoint is rooted in some weird idea that Facebook and Google owe you something. They don't. No one is entitled to their services, so their refusal to do business with you is not a negative consequence -- particularly if you disagree with the terms under which they do their business.
    – cHao
    Dec 20, 2017 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


"Freely given" basically means there was no coercion involved -- in other words, that one can't threaten or enact negative consequences for refusal, meaning (for example) the company can't charge you $50 for failing or refusing to opt in.

They can, however, try to bribe you into opting in. If you say no, there are no negative consequences -- you're just out $50 that wasn't yours anyway.

(Not sure about the legalities if you opt in, get the $50, and then opt out. Hairy situations like that, though, are probably why i haven't heard of companies offering opt-in bonuses. :P That, and perhaps they figure the service they're already providing is enough.)

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