Data PrivacyWhat is Consent Fatigue?

October 6, 20230
What is Consent Fatigue?

Consent Fatigue refers to the exhaustion and indifference that individuals may experience due to the constant need to provide consent for data collection and processing activities. This can lead to individuals hastily agreeing to terms and conditions without fully understanding the implications, thereby compromising their own data privacy.

Consent Fatigue is a growing concern in the realm of data protection and privacy, especially with the implementation of stringent laws like the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023 (DPDPA,2023), in India. While the law aims to empower individuals by giving them control over their personal data, the constant need to provide explicit consent can lead to fatigue. This has several implications, both for individuals and organisations.

Implications for Individuals

1. Reduced Vigilance: Overwhelmed by frequent consent requests, individuals may become less vigilant, leading to hasty decisions without fully understanding the implications.

2. Privacy Risks: Hastily agreeing to terms and conditions exposes individuals to potential misuse of their personal data.

3. Legal Consequences: In extreme cases, individuals could inadvertently agree to terms that have legal ramifications, such as waiving certain rights.

4. Psychological Stress: The constant need to make decisions about personal data can lead to decision fatigue and stress.

Implications for Organisations

1. Compliance Risks: If users are not reading consent forms carefully due to fatigue, this could pose a risk to organisations in terms of compliance with data protection laws.

2. Reputational Damage: Misuse of hastily given consent can lead to public relations crises.

3. Legal Liabilities: Organisations could face legal action if they are found to be exploiting consent fatigue to gather more data than necessary.

4. Operational Challenges: Managing and storing the vast amount of consent data can be operationally challenging and costly.

Global Best Practices to Mitigate Implications

1. Just-in-Time Notices: Providing consent notices at the time the data is being collected rather than all at once.

2. Granular Consent: Allowing users to give consent for specific types of data collection or processing activities.

3. Regular Audits: Conducting regular audits to ensure that all consents are in compliance with the law.

Do’s and Don’ts for Mitigating Implications

1. Educate Users: Make users aware of the importance of giving consent.

2. Regular Updates: Keep users updated about how their data is being used.


1. Overwhelm Users: Avoid overwhelming users with too many consent requests at once.

2. Ambiguity: Do not use ambiguous language that could confuse users.

Consent fatigue has far-reaching implications that can undermine the very objectives of data protection laws like DPDPA, 2023. Both individuals and organisations need to be aware of these implications and take proactive steps to mitigate them. By adopting global best practices and adhering to a strict code of ethics, it is possible to balance the need for data protection with the practical challenges posed by consent fatigue.

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