Within data privacy, expressed consent is a critical concept that businesses must understand and implement in order to comply with data privacy regulations and protect their customers’ privacy rights.
What is expressed consent?
Expressing consent in terms of data privacy means that an individual provides explicit and informed agreement for their personal information to be collected, processed, and used by a company or organization. This consent should be given voluntarily, with a clear understanding of what information is being collected, why it is being collected, and how it will be used.
Data privacy regulations, such as the GDPR and CCPA, require companies to obtain explicit consent from individuals before collecting and processing their personal data. This means that individuals must actively agree to their data being collected and processed, and that they have the right to withdraw their consent at any time. Companies must also be transparent about their data collection practices and provide individuals with clear and concise information about their privacy policies.
How does expressed consent work?
Expressed consent is used by businesses to obtain a clear and unambiguous agreement from individuals to collect, use, and share their personal data. This consent can be obtained through a variety of methods, including written agreements, verbal agreements, and opt-in checkboxes on websites.
To obtain valid expressed consent, businesses must ensure that individuals have a full understanding of what data will be collected, how it will be used, who it will be shared with, and for how long it will be retained. This requires clear and concise privacy policies that are easily accessible and understandable.
Businesses must also ensure that individuals have the ability to withdraw their consent at any time and that they are provided with clear instructions on how to do so.
Implementing expressed consent in business is not only necessary for compliance with data privacy regulations, but it is also an important step in building trust with customers and demonstrating a commitment to ethical and responsible data practices.
Can consent be revoked?
Yes, customers and users always have the option to change their mind and withdraw their expressed consent for the collection, use, and sharing of their personal data. This is an important aspect of data privacy regulations, such as the GDPR, which require that individuals have the right to revoke their consent at any time.
Businesses must provide individuals with clear and easy-to-understand instructions on how to withdraw their consent, such as by providing an unsubscribe link in email communications or a privacy settings page on their website. In addition, businesses must ensure that the withdrawal of consent is as easy as giving it, and that there are no barriers or undue burden placed on individuals who wish to withdraw their consent.
It’s important to note that withdrawing consent does not affect the lawfulness of any processing that was done prior to the withdrawal. However, once consent is withdrawn, businesses must stop processing the individual’s personal data and delete it unless there is another legal basis for processing it.
Expressed consent vs explicit consent
Expressed consent refers to any type of consent that is clearly given, whether it is written or verbal. For example, if a user clicks on a button to accept the terms and conditions of a website, they are giving expressed consent.
Explicit consent, on the other hand, is a specific type of consent that is required under certain data privacy regulations, such as the GDPR. It requires the individual to actively confirm their consent, either verbally or in writing, and provides them with a full understanding of what they are consenting to. This means that the individual must be presented with clear and understandable information about what data will be collected, how it will be used, who it will be shared with, and for how long it will be retained.
Expressed consent vs implied consent
Expressed consent refers to a situation where the individual explicitly and actively provides consent for their data to be collected and processed. This can be done through a written agreement, verbal agreement, or by clicking a button on a website to indicate acceptance of the terms and conditions.
Implied consent, on the other hand, is a form of consent that is inferred from the actions or behavior of the individual. For example, if someone voluntarily provides their email address to sign up for a newsletter, they may be considered to have provided implied consent for their email address to be used for that purpose.
However, implied consent is not always sufficient for data privacy regulations, such as the GDPR, which requires explicit consent for the collection and processing of personal data. In these cases, companies must obtain clear and unambiguous affirmative responses from individuals before collecting and processing their personal data.
Examples of expressed consent
Healthcare: When a patient visits a hospital or clinic, they are asked to provide personal information such as their medical history and insurance details. The healthcare provider must obtain the patient’s expressed consent to collect, use, and share this data. This can be done by presenting the patient with a clear and easy-to-understand consent form that explains how their data will be used for purposes such as diagnosis, treatment, and insurance billing. The consent form should also provide instructions for how the patient can withdraw their consent at any time, and explain any limitations on the withdrawal of consent that may exist due to legal or regulatory requirements.
Expressed consent best practices
When explaining expressed consent to customers, it is important to ensure that they have a full understanding of what they are consenting to and why it is necessary. Some best practices for explaining expressed consent to customers include:
- Be transparent: Provide clear and concise information about what personal data will be collected, how it will be used, and who it will be shared with. Make sure this information is easily accessible and understandable.
- Use plain language: Avoid using technical jargon or legal terms that may be confusing for customers. Use plain language that is easy to understand.
- Be specific: Explain the exact purposes for which the personal data will be used. This helps customers make an informed decision about whether or not to provide their consent.
- Provide options: Give customers the option to choose which data they want to share and for what purposes. This empowers them to make informed decisions about their personal data.
- Use a layered approach: Provide information about expressed consent in a layered approach, with short summaries that link to more detailed information for those who want to learn more.
- Obtain active agreement: Make sure that customers actively agree to the terms and conditions, rather than assuming their consent. This can be done through a checkbox, a signature, or other methods that require active agreement.
- Provide clear instructions for withdrawal: Provide clear and easy-to-understand instructions on how to withdraw consent at any time. Make sure that the process for withdrawing consent is as easy as giving it.
BigID’s Approach to Expressed Consent
BigID is a data discovery platform for privacy, security, and governance that provides organizations with tools to manage personal data, including expressed consent. Organizations can leverage BigID to manage expressed consent by:
- Consent Management: BigID’s Consent Governance App empowers organizations to align and evaluate consent policies to better protect data subject rights. Organizations can set up customizable consent forms and obtain active agreement from customers. They can also track and manage consent records over time and provide clear and easy-to-understand instructions for how customers can withdraw their consent.
- Data Mapping: BigID’s RoPA Data Mapping App helps organizations understand where personal data is stored, who has access to it, and how it is being used— giving them a clear view of their data landscape. Organizations can identify where consent is required and ensure that they are obtaining and managing it appropriately.