Gain insight into Spanish cookie laws: What you need to know

Table of Contents


Online privacy and data protection have become increasingly important topics. In Europe, strict regulations safeguard user rights and ensure transparent data practices. Spanish cookie laws are a crucial part of this broader framework, providing guidelines and requirements for website owners and online service providers regarding cookies and similar tracking technologies.

Understanding these laws is critical for those operating in Spain or targeting Spanish users to ensure compliance and build trust with their audience. Cookies, small text files stored on a user’s computer or device, are widely used to enhance website functionality, track user behavior, and provide personalized experiences.

However, using cookies also raises concerns about data privacy and security. Spanish cookie laws address these concerns by requiring website owners and online service providers to obtain user consent before collecting or using cookies and providing clear and concise information about their cookie usage.

This comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of Spanish cookie laws, providing insights into consent requirements, cookie usage, compliance strategies, and more. By following these guidelines and best practices, businesses can ensure they comply with Spanish cookie laws and build trust with their users.

Spanish cookie laws are essential to the country’s data protection framework, with the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) taking the lead in enforcing these regulations. These laws align with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which sets strict data privacy and protection standards. The primary objective of these laws is to safeguard the privacy of individuals and regulate the processing of personal data, including data obtained through cookies.

It’s important to note that under Spanish law, cookies are considered personal data if they can identify an individual directly or indirectly. Therefore, website owners must adhere to stringent requirements when using cookies to collect or process user data. This includes obtaining explicit consent from users before collecting any information, providing clear and transparent information about the purpose of the data collection and processing, and ensuring that the data collected is only used for the specific purposes for which it was obtained.

Key concepts and definitions

  1. Data protection: Spanish cookie laws prioritize protecting users’ personal data, requiring website owners to handle data responsibly and securely.

  2. Consent requirements: Obtaining consent is a fundamental aspect of Spanish cookie laws. Website owners must obtain explicit and informed consent from users before storing or accessing cookies on their devices.

  3. Types of cookies: Spanish cookie laws distinguish between cookies, including essential cookies, which are necessary for certain website functionalities, and non-essential cookies, which require user consent.

  4. Cookie usage: Website owners must provide clear and comprehensive information about the purpose of cookie usage, the types of cookies used, and how users can manage their preferences.

Pandectes GDPR Compliance for Shopify Stores - Gain insight into Spanish cookie laws- What you need to know - cookies

In Spain, website owners must comply with cookie laws, which mandate that users give explicit and informed consent before cookies can be placed on their devices. This consent must be obtained through clear and affirmative actions, such as clicking an “Accept” button on a cookie banner. Moreover, detailed information about the types of cookies used, their purposes, and how users can manage their preferences must be provided to them.

To comply with the law, cookie consent banners must be prominently displayed on the website, and a visible link must be included to access more information about cookie usage and privacy policies. It is important to ensure the cookie banner is presented clearly and concisely so that users can easily understand the implications of accepting cookies.

Furthermore, website owners must regularly review their cookie policies to ensure that they are up-to-date and comply with any changes to the law. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in significant fines, so taking the necessary steps to ensure that your website fully complies with Spanish cookie laws is crucial.

Types of cookies

According to the Spanish cookie laws, website owners must distinguish between various types of cookies based on their functionality and purpose. Technical cookies, such as session cookies, are considered essential for the proper functioning of websites and do not require explicit consent from users. These cookies are used for session management, user authentication, and security tasks. On the other hand, non-essential cookies, including third-party cookies used for advertising or analytics, require explicit consent from users before they can be placed on their devices.

Website owners must differentiate between these types of cookies and allow users to accept or reject them separately. This means that users should have granular control over the cookies they allow on their devices, and website owners must provide clear and concise information about the purposes for which cookies are being used. The information provided should include the type of cookie, its purpose, and the data it collects, amongst other things.

Valid consent from users is paramount to comply with Spanish cookie laws. The consent obtained must be specific to each purpose of cookie usage and cannot be bundled together. Website owners and operators should ensure that users can accept or reject cookies based on their preferences. It is also important that consent is obtained before any data is collected or processed through cookies.

Notably, relying on pre-ticked boxes to imply consent is not considered valid under Spanish cookie laws. Failure to obtain valid consent or to follow the regulations may result in non-compliance and potential penalties. Therefore, website owners and operators must obtain valid consent from users to avoid legal issues.

Pandectes GDPR Compliance for Shopify Stores - Gain insight into Spanish cookie laws- What you need to know - Spanish flag

To comply with privacy regulations, website owners must obtain user consent before using cookies. Website owners can implement various cookie consent mechanisms to make this process easier. These mechanisms may include cookie banners or pop-ups that inform users about the use of cookies on the website and provide options to accept or reject them.

It is important to note that cookie banners should be designed in a way that is clear and easy to understand, avoiding technical jargon that could confuse or mislead users. Website owners should also ensure that their cookie banners are regularly updated to reflect changes in cookie usage or privacy policies, as this helps maintain transparency and build trust with users. By implementing effective cookie consent mechanisms, website owners can improve user experience and demonstrate their commitment to data privacy and protection.

To comply with Spanish cookie laws, website owners must help users manage their cookie preferences easily. This means providing clear instructions on how users can adjust their cookie settings or withdraw consent. To enable users to customize their cookie preferences, website owners may offer access to browser settings or provide a dedicated preference center.

This preference center will allow users to select which cookies they wish to accept, reject, or block. By giving users this level of control over their data, website owners can promote transparency and build trust with their users. Website owners must comply with these laws to avoid legal consequences and promote user confidence in their websites.

Under Spanish cookie laws, cookie walls that require users to accept cookies to access a website’s content are generally considered non-compliant. This is because such practices do not align with the principle of freely given consent. Users should have the right to choose whether or not they wish to consent to cookies without coercion or pressure from website owners.

Therefore, website owners must provide alternative means for users to access their content if they refuse to consent to cookie usage. This could involve providing limited functionality or an opt-out mechanism for non-essential cookies. Users should be able to access the content without the need to accept cookies as a condition. This is essential to uphold users’ privacy and data protection rights while enabling them to access the content they seek.

Pandectes GDPR Compliance for Shopify Stores - Gain insight into Spanish cookie laws- What you need to know - EU locker

Compliance strategies

To ensure compliance with Spanish cookie laws, website owners need to take a proactive approach to managing their website’s cookie usage. This involves conducting regular audits of cookie usage on the website, identifying potential issues that could lead to non-compliance, and taking necessary steps to rectify them.

One key step website owners can take is to update their privacy policies to include detailed information about cookie usage. This can help users understand the types of cookies, their reasons for using them, and how they can manage their preferences.

In addition to updating their privacy policies, website owners should implement robust consent mechanisms that comply with Spanish cookie laws. This includes obtaining explicit consent from users before placing any cookies on their devices and providing them with clear and concise information about the cookies being used.

It’s also important for website owners to stay informed about updates to Spanish cookie guidelines and regulations and to follow the guidance provided by the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) and the European Data Protection Board (EDPB). By keeping up-to-date with regulatory changes and best practices, website owners can minimize the risk of non-compliance and maintain the trust of their users.

Non-compliance risks

Businesses must ensure compliance with Spanish cookie laws, as non-compliance can result in severe consequences, such as hefty fines and harm to their reputation. The Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) has the authority to investigate complaints regarding cookie usage and impose penalties for violations. It is worth noting that users may lose trust in websites that do not respect their privacy rights or engage in deceptive cookie practices.

Therefore, website owners must prioritize compliance with cookie laws and uphold the principles of data protection and user privacy. This can be achieved by providing clear and concise information about cookie usage and obtaining explicit consent from users before implementing cookie-related activities on their websites.

Impact on user experience

Adhering to Spanish cookie regulations may necessitate modifications to cookie practices, but it can result in an improved user experience in the long run. Website owners can enhance transparency and establish trust with their audience by providing explicit and comprehensive information about cookie usage. By doing so, users are better informed about the collected data and its utilization.

Furthermore, allowing users to control their cookie preferences allows for a more customized browsing experience. Individuals can tailor their interactions with websites based on their preferences, leading to a more personalized experience. This feature also enables users to opt-out of cookies they do not wish to receive, enhancing their control over their online privacy. As a result, website owners can foster a more positive user experience by providing transparency and control over cookie usage.


Data protection and privacy regulation are vital, and Spanish cookie laws are crucial. As per these laws, website owners must adhere to strict guidelines related to cookie consent, transparency, and user control to ensure compliance. In other words, website owners must obtain explicit and informed consent from users regarding cookie usage, provide clear information about how cookies are used, and empower users to manage their cookie preferences.

By adhering to these guidelines, businesses can build trust with their audience and mitigate the risk of non-compliance. Obtaining explicit consent from users ensures that they know how their data is being collected and used while providing clear information about cookie usage, which helps users make informed decisions. Empowering users to manage their cookie preferences gives them control over their data, essential for building trust and maintaining compliance.

Moving forward, continued vigilance and adherence to evolving guidelines will be crucial for maintaining compliance with Spanish cookie laws and upholding the rights of individuals in the online ecosystem. In summary, businesses must proactively ensure compliance with these laws to protect their users’ data and build trust with their audience.

Make your Shopify Store GDPR/CCPA compliant today
Pandectes GDPR Compliance App for Shopify
Subscribe to learn more

You Might Also Like

Scroll to Top