Suppose you have an online service, with a privacy policy that the users have accepted. Then at some point you want to introduce some changes to that privacy policy, in a way that requires the user's consent according to the GDPR. For example you might want to start displaying targeted advertising, or something like that. How would you have to do this, in order to comply with the GDPR?

You might send them an email, or display a pop-up message, asking the user if they want to accept the updated privacy policy. If they accept, then you are ok. But if they don't? Can they be forced to leave the service? For example, their account might be blocked and they might not be able to log in anymore unless they accept the new privacy policy, but would this even be legal? I suppose it might be kind of legal if it was stated in the TOS that "this website might shut down the service or block some of its users for whatever reason", but I'm not sure the GDPR would allow this anyway, for example because of the following statements (at the beginning of the GDPR):

(42) [...] Consent should not be regarded as freely given if the data subject has no genuine or free choice or is unable to refuse or withdraw consent without detriment.

(43) [...] Consent is presumed not to be freely given if it does not allow separate consent to be given to different personal data processing operations despite it being appropriate in the individual case, or if the performance of a contract, including the provision of a service, is dependent on the consent despite such consent not being necessary for such performance.

Also, what if they neither accept nor reject the changes? By clicking on "accept" they will accept, by clicking on "don't accept" they might accept to leave the service (if it was legal), but without any action from the user what would happen?

  • If the user does not give consent, then you do not have consent. One of the big points of GDPR in relation with previous laws is that consent must be explicit. – SJuan76 Dec 7 '18 at 21:19

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