Decoding Consent: Opt-in / Opt-out / Double opt-in / B2B / B2C


In this blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of consent terminology, exploring the differences in opt-in and opt-out strategies and highlighting the significance of GDPR compliance in granting users explicit control over their personal data and communication preferences

Understanding Consent Terminology


Opt-in is a consent mechanism where individuals actively grant permission for their personal data to be collected, processed, or used for specific purposes. It requires users to take a positive action, such as checking a box or providing explicit consent, to indicate their willingness to participate. Opt-in is considered a higher standard of consent as it prioritizes user control and privacy.

Active opt-in

Active opt-in is a consent mechanism in which users must take a positive action to give their consent. This can include actions such as checking a box, clicking a button, or explicitly providing consent. Users need to proactively take a step to indicate their willingness to participate or receive communications.

Passive opt-in

Passive opt-in is a consent mechanism in which users are automatically included in a service or mailing list unless they take action to unsubscribe or refuse their consent. In this case, users are presumed to be consenting unless they actively disagree or choose to opt out. For example, pre-checked boxes that require unchecking to unsubscribe are considered a form of passive opt-in.


Opt-out is a consent mechanism where individuals are automatically included in a service or data collection unless they take action to decline or “opt-out.” In this case, users are presumed to be willing participants unless they actively indicate their desire to withdraw or unsubscribe. Opt-out is generally considered a lower standard of consent compared to opt-in.

Double opt-in

Double opt-in, also known as confirmed opt-in, is an additional step in the consent process that reinforces user consent. After an initial opt-in, individuals receive a confirmation request, typically via email, asking them to confirm their consent. This two-step process ensures that users explicitly confirm their intent and helps prevent accidental or fraudulent subscriptions.

To comply with GDPR, it is generally recommended to offer users a preference center or similar mechanism where they can exercise their opt-in preferences for different types of data processing or communications. This allows users to select their preferences regarding the specific treatments or communications they wish to receive, giving them control over their personal data.

It is important to note that GDPR compliance requirements can vary across EU member states, and there may be additional national regulations or guidelines that apply. GDPR generally prioritizes active opt-in as a higher standard of consent because it gives users explicit control over their personal data and communication preferences.

Please keep in mind that laws and regulations are subject to change, so it’s crucial to stay informed and ensure compliance with the latest legal requirements in your jurisdiction.

Consent: B2B VS B2C

There can be differences between business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) contexts when it comes to opt-in and opt-out practices. While the exact regulations and requirements vary from country to country, there are a few general distinctions to consider:

Consent requirements

In B2C relationships, where the data subjects are individual consumers, opt-in consent is typically the standard requirement for direct marketing communications or data processing activities. This means that explicit consent must be obtained from the consumer before sending marketing emails, newsletters, or other promotional materials. On the other hand, in B2B relationships, where the data subjects are businesses or professionals, the consent requirements may be more relaxed. Some jurisdictions may allow for a legitimate interest-based approach, where businesses can send marketing communications based on the legitimate interests of the receiving organization, with an opportunity to opt-out provided.

Scope of regulations

Consumer data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, tend to focus primarily on protecting the personal data and privacy rights of individuals in B2C interactions. In B2B contexts, where the data relates to business contacts rather than personal information, the regulations may be less stringent or may not apply certain provisions.

Consent management

B2C companies often rely on explicit opt-in mechanisms and maintain comprehensive records of consent to demonstrate compliance. B2B companies may adopt opt-out mechanisms, such as providing an unsubscribe option in marketing communications, but should still respect any preferences expressed by business contacts regarding receiving future communications.

It’s important to note that these differences can vary depending on the specific jurisdiction and applicable regulations in each country. Local laws and regulations, as well as industry-specific guidelines, may have additional requirements or nuances that businesses must adhere to when it comes to opt-in and opt-out practices in B2C and B2B scenarios.

Posted ago by Charles

Charles is the co-founder of Otowui and is responsible for marketing strategy and business development. He is a web enthusiast and digital marketing expert, with over 15 years of experience in the field. He enjoys creating unique and personalized user experiences for Otowui customers. He is also a developer and is passionate about the latest technologies to improve the performance and quality of Otowui's products.

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