Accept All: The Landscape of Cookie Banners in Greece and the UK

Georgios Kampanos, Siamak F. Shahandashti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Cookie banners are devices implemented by websites to allow users to manage their privacy settings with respect to the use of cookies. They are part of a user's daily web browsing experience since legislation in Europe requires websites to show such notices. In this paper, we carry out a large-scale study of more than 17,000 websites including more than 7,500 cookie banners in Greece and the UK to determine compliance and tracking transparency levels. Our analysis shows that although more than 60% of websites store third-party cookies in both countries, only less than 50% show a cookie notice and hence a substantial proportion do not comply with the law even at the very basic level. We find only a small proportion of the surveyed websites providing a direct opt-out option, with an overwhelming majority either nudging users towards privacy-intrusive choices or making cookie rejection much harder than consent. Our results differ significantly in some cases from previous smaller-scale studies and hence underline the importance of large-scale studies for a better understanding of the big picture in cookie practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on ICT Systems Security and Privacy Protection, Proceedings
Number of pages227
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Mar 2021
EventInternational Conference on ICT Systems Security and Privacy Protection - Oslo, Norway
Duration: 22 Jun 202124 Jun 2021
Conference number: 36th


ConferenceInternational Conference on ICT Systems Security and Privacy Protection
Abbreviated titleIFIP SEC 2021
Internet address

Bibliographical note

This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


  • cookie banners
  • cookie notices
  • privacy options
  • privacy
  • web measurement
  • dark patterns
  • GDPR
  • Data Protection Act
  • user tracking
  • tracking

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