Opt-in and Opt-out. How You Should Adhere to User's Consent

February 27, 2023

What Are the Distinctions Between Opt-In and Opt-Out Consent?

Most worldwide data privacy regulations compel enterprises to get users' permission and respect their online data collection and processing choices. Consent rules are anticipated to tighten as the world goes digital.

Most worldwide privacy regulations employ opt-in or opt-out consent regimes to handle user data.

Opt-In vs. Opt-Out

To understand opt-in and opt-out practices and their goals, let's dig deeper.

What's opt-in?

An opt-in method requires users to voluntarily subscribe to emails or newsletters by entering their email address and occasionally their name and other personal information. Before using someone's data for marketing, you must get "opt-in" consent.

Users may manually opt-in to preserve their online behavior for different reasons while visiting a website. All boxes are unchecked when a user first visits this page. Users may opt-in to any box or all of them to indicate their preferred website.

Implementing opt-in consent:

  • Only process users' personal data with permission.
  • Provide equal prominence to "accept" and "reject" choices on the consent banner to allow users to accept or reject cookies.
  • Inform users on why and how their personal data will be gathered.
  • Enable individual cookie category options depending on cookie purposes, and do not use any dark pattern to get user approval, including pre-ticked checkboxes and cookie walls.

What's opt-out?

If they don't want emails or newsletters, users need to opt-out. Opt-out is when you are added to their mailing list but won't receive their emails.

Opt-out choices are provided to consumers in two ways:

  1. Pre-emptive opt-out — a customer may untick/uncheck a pre-selected checkbox or otherwise reverse a confirmation signaling their rejection of data processing.
  2. Consent withdrawal - when consumers are given a clear choice to withdraw their authorization or adjust their personal data handling preferences.

Implementing opt-out consent:

  • Include a "Do Not Sell My Personal Information" button or link on the homepage and in the privacy policy to allow users to opt out of selling and sharing their data. The CCPA requires this.
  • Give appropriate information to users regarding the kinds of personal data to be collected and their purposes, including sensitive personal data.
  • Notify users whether their personal data is sold or shared, the amount of time the organization plans to maintain each type of personal data, or, if not possible, the criteria used to calculate such duration.
  • Do not utilize dark patterns, such as not making the "opt-out" or "Do Not Sell My Personal Information" option visible on the web page.

Opt-out consent underpins the CCPA. Due to consumers' privacy concerns, nations including the US, Australia, Hong Kong, and Switzerland still need opt-out authorization.

Opt-In/Out Cookies

Since the EU's e-Privacy Directive, cookie restrictions have been stricter, requiring opt-in and opt-out cookie permission banners.

Cookie banners/pop-ups are used for opt-in and opt-out. As mentioned above, opt-in regimes require websites to get user agreements. Until the user refuses or withdraws permission, opt-out cookies are labeled consent by default.

It implies non-essential cookies are enabled on a site and may be removed if a user opts out. Under an opt-out cookie consent system, companies should let users acknowledge the banner before dropping the cookies.

Most data protection and cookie regulations require websites to publish clear and accurate information about their cookie policy (including the required ones) and why they gather cookies. Users should be able to make informed decisions about opt-in or opt-out consent regimes.

Opt-In and Opt-Out: When and How

We'll examine when to employ opt-in and opt-out under CCPA, GDPR, and LGPD.

Opt-Out CCPA

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) allows customers to opt out of firms selling their personal data.

Businesses compliant with CCPA must have clear rules and effective processes to allow customers to opt out of selling personal information. The CCPA requires firms to provide a "Do Not Sell My Personal Information" button or link.


Even non-EU enterprises that get EU traffic are affected by GDPR.

Users must be offered the choice to activate cookies under GDPR. Advertising and analytics cookies have distinct functions, hence the user must have separate opt-in checkboxes for each cookie category. In summary, GDPR permission must be opt-in.

“Freely given, explicit, informed, and unambiguous” permission is required under GDPR. Consent cannot be given by silence or "pre-ticked boxes."

A cookie banner's information must be simple and comprehensible. It implies a message should be clear to everyone, not just attorneys, and organizations should avoid legal language.

Every firm in the EU or outside the EU that sells to EU clients must opt-in under the GDPR. It implies practically every large global firm subject to the GDPR must have an opt-in process.

User permission may be obtained through cookie banners. These may be put on the website's bottom, top, or sides. The information displayed must be readily accessible and not disturb the user's navigating experience.


Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados Pessoais (LGPD) governs how the personal data of Brazilian citizens may be collected, utilized, and processed. Free, informed, and unambiguous permission is required under the LGPD.

Brazilian firms and any company that targets Brazilians or gathers, utilizes, and processes their personal data are affected by the LGPD.

The LGPD mandates:

  • Ask users to "accept" cookies and other tracking technologies before installing non-essential cookies on the website;
  • A data subject's consent must be "free, informed, and unambiguous."
  • The LGPD requires consumers to actively assent by checking an unchecked opt-in box.

Opt-In in Email Marketing

When a firm sends email marketing to consumers who have opted in, opt-in emails are necessary.

New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, and all EU nations need an opt-in agreement before sending commercial materials. Ensure the following:

  • Users may tick the box on the website to receive marketing messages. Don't pre-check boxes (default unchecked).
  • In every marketing message, provide opt-out instructions at the bottom. For instance: Click here to unsubscribe from our marketing mailings.

Opt-out in Email Marketing

Users who don't want marketing emails find them annoying. Every marketing email should include an opt-out link. It includes "unsubscribe me from the list."

The CAN-SPAM Act governs direct marketing for US companies. The CAN-SPAM Act establishes the following key requirements for organizations:

  • Clearly recognizable and evident unsubscribe functionality: The marketing message must be readily identified as a commercial communication, and organizations must advise recipients how to opt out of receiving future emails from them in every marketing email. Within ten business days, opt-out requests must be fulfilled.
  • Appropriate and accurate subject lines and content body: Organizations must not utilize deceptive header information like the originating name and email address or misleading subject lines.
  • A visible physical address: Organizations must notify recipients where they are and present a legitimate physical postal address.


Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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