Privacy policy often states that one can "withdraw consent" to the collection, use and disclosure of personal data. Unfortunately, it is often the case that consent was given to the collection, use and disclosure of personal data for a particular use case, but somehow the data was used for other unstated use cases.

How can I "withdraw consent" without implying consent was ever given, so that I reserve the right to take further action in the future?

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    in many contexts, consent is inferred from doing business with someone or using their website unless and until it is withdrawn. A positive expression of consent is not the only way it can be given. But without context about whose privacy policy it is, and what legal jurisdiction you are in, it is impossible to provide a solid legal answer because laws differ from place to place and from context to context.
    – ohwilleke
    Oct 6, 2022 at 18:24
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    What do you mean by taking further action in the future? what type of action(s)? Also, what were the unstated uses? Oct 6, 2022 at 20:57
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    How did they come to be in possession of "personal data"? Your consent may not be required.
    – user6726
    Oct 6, 2022 at 22:13

3 Answers 3


You could say something like "I do not consent to [XYZ], and I revoke any consent I may have given in the past." That makes it clear that you intend to revoke consent, without acknowledging that you ever did consent.

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    Or, perhaps, "I do not consent to [XYZ], and any prior consent, whether express or implied, is hereby withdrawn."
    – EvilSnack
    Oct 8, 2022 at 2:29
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    @EvilSnack that language hints at the possibility of prior consent, it seems that the OPs intention is to implicitly(!) communicate the absence of prior consent, whether it was given or not. Oct 9, 2022 at 12:08

If you have previously given consent, the most honest and correct response is “I withdraw consent.”

If you state “I have not given consent” that could be proven false, and undermine your credibility.

A neutral response would be “I do not give consent”. This says nothing about past actions, (or inaction in the case of opting out) but clearly indicates your intentions going forward.

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    Or indeed just "I do not consent".
    – psmears
    Oct 7, 2022 at 10:53

My consent for the collection and use of my personal data (previously only given for the purpose of doing $x) is hereby withdrawn for every and all purposes.


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