GDPR and cookies

This page explains how you can use the Magnolia GDPR features to manage your cookies on your website.

Under GDPR, you must inform visitors that your website is using cookies, and, if your cookies store personal data, ask visitors to consent to their data being collected.

This is an overview of how to handle cookies:

  • Let the website visitor know that your website is using cookies.

  • Ask the website visitor to grant permission for the cookies to be used and store the website visitor’s decision. The website visitor can accept or reject cookies. See managing consent for cookies.

  • Configure your cookies in the Cookies app according to your cookie consent decision strategy.

  • Before setting a cookie, Magnolia checks the Cookies app for the value of the cookie consent decision and the configuration of the cookie to decide if the cookie may be set. See Understanding whether a cookie is set or not.

  • We recommend you inform your website visitors about what cookies you are using and about the purpose of the used cookies.

Magnolia helps you to implement cookies in compliance with GDPR. It nonetheless remains the responsibility of the website owner to manage cookies properly. Features explained on this page are provided by the Magnolia Privacy module.

Inform the website visitor

You must inform website visitors that you are using cookies.

List all the cookies and for what they are used for.


Cookiees information page

Cookies can be set on the server-side using Servlet cookie API, or on the client side using JavaScript cookie API. Since Magnolia is server-sided software, server-side cookies can be controlled completely using Magnolia. Magnolia also enables you to have some control over client-side cookies.

Cookies set on the server-side

Magnolia uses cookies for different features and functions for instance the visitor trait to serve personalized content.

To set a cookie on the server side, Magnolia uses info.magnolia.consent.cookie.CookieManager, which always checks the website visitor’s cookie consent decision before the cookie is set.

Cookies set on the client-side - Marketing tags

Many third-party services, such as Google Analytics, Eloqua, Clicky and others, require cookies to work properly. Such third-party cookies are set on the client-side using JavaScript.

Generally you cannot control cookies set on the client-side with Magnolia. However, the code snippet containing the JavaScript code, which sets the cookie, is added by Magnolia on the server-side. By adding or not adding the code snippet you can control whether the cookie is set or not.

By using the Marketing Tags app to manage the code snippets for these third-party services and defining a cookie in the Cookies app and linking it to the marketing tags item, you control whether the third-party cookie is set based on the website visitor’s cookie consent decision.

When using the Magnolia GDPR cookie features, Magnolia cookies and even third-party cookies managed via Marketing Tags app are never set unless the website visitor has given their consent.

Visitor consent for cookie usage must therefore be collected and stored. In Magnolia, the consent itself is stored in a cookie named cookieConsent_status.

The stored value, if there is one, is used to decide whether other cookies are set or not.

The simplest cookie consent interaction strategy is to offers visitors the choice between accepting or rejecting cookies. More complex strategies can be implemented depending on your requirements.

In this strategy, you inform visitors that cookies exist on your website and ask them to accept.

For example, display a message such as: `This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website''; and a button such as `Got it! so that visitors can accept the usage of cookies.

In this case, you store a simple value such as accepted or OK as value of the cookie.

In this strategy, you give the website visitor the possibility to give consent for different groups of cookies:

Consenting to use of cookies

In this case, you store cookie values such as the following based on which options the user consent to:

  • features

  • features,marketing

  • features,marketing,statistics

  • marketing,statistics

Storing the cookieConsent_status

You can set the cookieConsent cookie via JavaScript. The Magnolia Travel Demo uses a third-party JavaScript library that was built specifically to deal with cookie consent. See Osano Cookie Consent and their Git repository for more information.

Alternatively, you also can use the Magnolia info.magnolia.consent.cookie.CookieManager to add the cookie on the server side.

private static final String COOKIECONSENTCOOKIE_ID = "cookiesConsent";
 * Set the consent cookie.
public void setCookieConsentCookie(String cookieConsentStatusValue) {
    if (cookieManager.getCookieDefinition(COOKIECONSENTCOOKIE_ID).isPresent()) {
        CookieDefinition cookieDefinition = cookieManager.getCookieDefinition(COOKIECONSENTCOOKIE_ID).get();

For more information, see GDPR API - Managing cookies.

The Privacy module comes with the Cookies app. Make sure you add a cookie definition for all your cookies.

Open the Cookies app from the app launcher.

Search for apps or for content across all your apps using the Find Bar. Open an app directly from the Find Bar using the command open <app-name> app, for example, type open pages app.

To add a new cookie, click Add cookie. New nodes can only be added to the root node (no nested cookies). The properties id (cookie’s unique ID) and cookieName (cookie’s name as seen in the browser) are mandatory.

You must set the properties id and cookieName which are mandatory.

You may want to set a specific value for the requiredConsentRegexp property.

You may want to set a specific value for the requiredConsentRegexp property. The value of the requiredConsentRegexp property is interpreted as a regular expression. The default value is .+.

See Cookie properties for all possible properties.

Understanding when cookies are set

Every cookie definition has the requiredConsentRegexp property. If this property is not set explicitly, its default value .+ is used.

The value of the requiredConsentRegexp is interpreted as a regular expression.

Cookies are set when the regular expression matches the value stored in the cookieConsent_status cookie.

If you use the default value .+ for the requiredConsentRegexp property in a cookie definition, the cookie will be added by the cookie manager if the cookieConsent_status cookie has any value.

If you use .* as value for the requiredConsentRegexp property in a cookie definition, the cookie will always be added by the cookie manager - even if the cookieConsent_status cookie is not set.


cookieConsent_status value requiredConsentRegexp property(regular expression) Cookie is set










no value*

*) Remember that no value defaults to .+.

Add a cookie definition to the Cookies app.

Configuring a server-side set cookie

You usually set third-party cookies using a code snippet managed in the Marketing Tags app. To control whether this kind of cookie is set, you must add a cookie definition to the Cookies app and link it to the marketing tag.

If you do not link a cookie definition to a marketing tag, the marketing tag is always set following the marketing tag definition only without checking cookie consent.







ID and name of the cookie definition are arbitrary and do not have to match the name of the cookie which is set by the marketing tag, just make sure the node name is descriptive and unique.

  1. Open the Marketing Tags app. Choose the marketing tag you want to link to a cookie:
    Marketing tags app

  2. Edit the marketing tag. Go to the Cookies tab and click add:
    Edit marketing tag tab

  3. Select the cookie and click Save.
    Cookies dropdown


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