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Cookie privacy is becoming a reality

Published on 29th May 2011

This has to be one of the most poorly thought out pieces of legislation ever to come out of Brussels, and that’s a tall order.

The information commissioners web site is now live with a cookie opt in message. Even if you can understand what it means the way the message is phrased leaves you with little option but to opt in after reading this line “You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but parts of the site will not work

To say the cookies opt in box is ugly would be kind but it’s not the aesthetics that are a concern. The law has been implemented to stop companies tracking your browsing habits and therefore gathering information about your interests and browsing habits. This is a worthy ambition but without cookies  web site ecommerce checkout functionality, most analytics tools and many if not all content management systems are unable to work.

Ironically the way the ICO site knows you’ve ticked the box allowing cookies is with a cookie. If you don’t tick the box it appears on every web page making your user experience poorer for it being there. Nag messages were the scourge of the internet 10-15 years ago, is this really progress?

We all have until April 2012 to comply with this legislation. I am sure the bulk of the internet community is hoping there will be some changes before then but I’d be surprised, Brussels aren’t known for speed of action or backtracking, but we live in hope.

Categories: Legislation

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