Article 7 GDPR
|← Article 7: Conditions for consent →|
1. Where processing is based on consent, the controller shall be able to demonstrate that the data subject has consented to processing of his or her personal data.
2. If the data subject's consent is given in the context of a written declaration which also concerns other matters, the request for consent shall be presented in a manner which is clearly distinguishable from the other matters, in an intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language. Any part of such a declaration which constitutes an infringement of this Regulation shall not be binding.
3. The data subject shall have the right to withdraw his or her consent at any time. The withdrawal of consent shall not affect the lawfulness of processing based on consent before its withdrawal. Prior to giving consent, the data subject shall be informed thereof. It shall be as easy to withdraw as to give consent.
4. When assessing whether consent is freely given, utmost account shall be taken of whether, inter alia, the performance of a contract, including the provision of a service, is conditional on consent to the processing of personal data that is not necessary for the performance of that contract.
Article 7 regulates the "conditions for consent". It specifies the definition of consent set out in Article 4 and, by integrating Article 6(1)(a), contributes in defining what legal requirements a valid consent should have. The provision also places the burden of proof on the data controller for the existence of consent.
Obligation to provide proof of consent (Article 7(1) GDPR)
Under Article 7(1) GDPR, the controller must demonstrate to have obtained a valid consent (in other words, the controller bear the burden of proof). However, there is no direct legal consequence linked to a possible violation. If, for example, the existence of an effective consent is disputed and the controller cannot provide evidence of this, it can be assumed that there is no consent. 
Layout requirements in the case of connection with another matter
The principle of separation laid down in Article 7(2) ensures that consent is truly informed (see Article 6(1)(a)) not given incidentally. In this regard, this provision acts also as a consumer protection. The layout requirement of Article 7(2) sentence 1 is aimed at making sure that the specific request for consent as such, isolated, is seen by the data subject without further effort. The warning and information function applies also with regard to the legal consequences of consent. Making sure that consent forms are not bundled guarantees more control for the data subject when deciding to give consent.
Right to withdraw consent
The data subject can withdraw their consent at any time and should be made aware of this right before granting consent. Withdrawal should be as easy as giving it; however, the withdrawal will not retroactively affect any processing based on the consent prior to its withdrawal.
The data subject needs only provide the minimum amount of personal information needed to identify and authenticate them to successfully revoke their consent.
Free nature of consent
The data subject must have a free choice and be able to refuse or withdraw consent without suffering disadvantages. Any potential imbalance of powers shall be analysed on a case by case basis. (See also Article 6.)
→ You can find all related decisions in Category:Article 7 GDPR
- See, Heckmann, Paschke, in Ehmann, Selmayr, Datenschutz-Grundverordnung, Article 7 GDPR, Margin number 68 (Beck, 2nd edition 2018) (29.4.2021) who explains the dynamic in this way: "Da die Vorschrift zwar die Pflicht eines Nachweises aufstellt, allerdings an einen möglichen Verstoß keine unmittelbare Rechtsfolge anknüpft, stellt diese Regelung keine Bedingung dar, sondern ist vielmehr eine Risikoverteilungsregelung".