UK: Consent: Getting it right under the new rules #GDPR – Part 4: Recording and Managing Consent

The fourth and final part of our mini-series on the draft ICO guidance on Consent, published on 2 March 2017, focuses on the practical impact the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will have on how your organisation records and manages consent.

In order to get valid consent from individuals under the GDPR, you will need to think carefully about how you (1) request, (2) record and (3) manage consent (but remember consent isn't always the most appropriate legal basis for processing – for more information see yesterday's blog).

(1) Requesting consent

When requesting consent, there are a few simple rules to follow to ensure that you do not fall foul of the GDPR:

  • Consent requests should be kept separate from general terms and conditions and should be in clear, easy to understand language (remember – it needs to "stand out from the crowd").
  • You should avoid confusing or technical language and use consistent language across consent options (remember – "plain and clear").
  • In order to make your consent requests as specific and informed as you can you should include the name of your organisation and any third parties who will be relying on the consent or data, why you want the data and what you are going to do with the data (remember – "all purposes need to be explained").
  • You should also make clear to customers that they can withdraw consent at any time and how to do this (remember – "it should be as easy to withdraw consent as it was to provide it").

Methods of obtaining consent

There are numerous methods you can use to request consent but keep in mind, whatever you do decide on must meet the test of an unambiguous indication by clear affirmative action as defined under the definition of consent in the GDPR. You must therefore ask individuals to opt-in to consent. You can do this in many ways, for example by getting the individual to sign a consent statement on a paper form, by ticking an opt-in box electronically, selecting from yes/no options or responding to an email requesting consent. Opt-out boxes, unlike pre-ticked boxes, are not expressly banned by the GDPR; however, since they are essentially the same, we assume these too will be covered by the GDPR ban.

(2) Recording consent

Once consent is obtained, it should be recorded in a manner which allows you to keep a record of how and when consent was given by an individual. In order to keep good records on consent, you should be able to show who consented, when they consented, the information they were provided with prior to consent and how they consented. The information, for completeness, should also include whether they have since withdrawn that consent. How you comply with this obligation will differ from organisation to organisation; however, it may mean, for example speaking to your software developer to see if your current systems can assist you here or whether they can help your management of this obligation.

(3) Managing consent

Consent is part of your ongoing relationship with individuals (it is a "dynamic" thing) and should therefore be managed appropriately:

  • It is good practice to provide individuals with preference tools where they can easily access and manage their consent and change their preferences if needed.
  • If anything about the original consent changes, in any way e.g. the nature of the data you are processing or, for example, you now want to process the data for a different or additional purpose, then you will need to get fresh consent from the individual – that's only fair.
  • If there have been no changes in the data processing, it is good practice to refresh consent on a regular basis. The ICO recommends refreshing consent every 2 years – but you will need to think about what is appropriate to your business and the type of data you collect and use – and even the individuals from whom you collect the data.
  • The GDPR gives individuals the right to withdraw consent at any time. You must provide a mechanism for the individual to withdraw at any time, on their own volition. You must make it as easy to withdraw consent as it was to consent originally. You should be able to manage withdrawals of consent and ensure that data processing is stopped as soon as possible after the withdrawal is made.

Final Thoughts

Now, at the end of our mini-series focusing on the ICO guidelines on Consent, what have we learned?

  1. There is a new higher standard for obtaining valid consent.
  2. How consent and the GDPR will impact your business.
  3. When consent is appropriate as a legal basis for data processing and when it is not.
  4. How to obtain, record and manage consent effectively.

What to do next?

We encourage all businesses to review the data you hold; how you came to hold that data; and why you hold it. You should also review whether you have a valid basis for processing that data – including consent where appropriate. Conducting a review of your data processing activities will ensure that you are compliant with the GDPR when it comes into force.

MacRoberts provide data protection audit services and other compliance services to help your business in the transition to the GDPR.

Read Part 1: Consent: Getting it right under the new rules #GDPR – Part 1: What is Consent?
Read Part 2: Consent: Getting it right under the new rules #GDPR – Part 2: What does this mean for your business?
Read Part 3: Consent: Getting it right under the new rules #GDPR – Part 3: Do we always need consent?

Contact our Specialist Compliance and Regulatory Lawyers

MacRoberts' team of data protection specialists can provide expertise and advice to businesses wishing to adopt this proactive approach to compliance preparation. We pride ourselves on our diverse, resourceful and highly skilled team of compliance and regulatory solicitors, who have substantial commercial and legal experience, delivering a pragmatic and commercial approach to our clients and their businesses.

© MacRoberts 2017


The material contained in this article is of the nature of general comment only and does not give advice on any particular matter. Recipients should not act on the basis of the information in this e-update without taking appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.