Period: May 2010 - April 2013
Status: Finished
Contacts: George Dimitrov


One of the key changes in societal trends and lifestyles witnessed over the past few years has been the move on-line of many consumers and the way they have become increasingly sophisticated in their media consumption habits. CONSENT seeks to examine how consumer behaviour and commercial practices are changing the role of consent in the processing of personal data. While consumer consent is a fundamental value on which the European market economy is based, the way consumer consent is obtained is questionable in popular user-generative/user-generated (UGC) online services (including sites like MySpace, YouTube and Facebook), whose commercial success depends to a large extent on the disclosure by their users of substantial amounts of personal data.

CONSENT’s multidisciplinary team intends to carry out a status quo analysis of commercial practices, and consumer attitudes through quantitative and qualitative study, to examine the legal position, to identify criteria for fairness and best practices, and then to create a toolkit for policy makers and corporate counsel which will enable them to address problem identified in the analysis. The project pays attention also to the cultural differences in the concept of privacy.

CONSENT will advance the knowledge base that underpins the formulation and implementation of policies and corporate procedures in the area of privacy and consumer protection with a view to informing policy-making in the European Union and to contribute to the development of European research communities in these areas.

CONSENT is implemented with the financial support of European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme.

For further information please visit the project website at