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UK / EU Cookie Law last minute changes

Published on 5th June 2012

Sometimes the incompetence of government and EU bureaucrats makes you want to weep, well quite a lot actually.  The implementation and advice offered to us as web site owners and designers has been frankly unbelievable.

JUST 24 HOURS before the law came into effect on the 26th May the UK’s ICO (Information Commissioners Office) released new guidelines, UNBELIEVABLE.  This is after a one year grace period to allow the web designer community time to look at its options.

So much has been written about this that I don’t want to add to the tsunami of comments but in essence the ICO has said VERY VAGUELY that it doesn’t consider a cookie dropped onto your device from Google Analytics as intrusive whereas previously it was.  Also they are suggesting that “implied consent” is reasonable.  This is a huge change which seems to pass responsibility to the user not the web site operator. There’s a good article in the Guardian that’s worth a look if you’re interested in the detail.

So do you need a cookie notifier on your site?

The short answer is yes. Although the law has been diluted it’s just opinion from the ICO, you will still be in contravention of EU law without this as it clearly states an opt in policy includes cookies from analytics packages.

In reality it’s a tough call and one that’s down to the individual web site owners.

What you MUST do is add a cookie paragraph into your privacy policy.  You should also get a cookie audit done on your web site or Blog so you can list the cookies you use in your privacy policy.

I’ve seen many implementations of a cookie opt in system and haven’t liked any of them until now.  I’ve installed a simple system onto my own blog which you might have seen. It’s not intrusive and does not stop you using the site if you can’t be bothered to click on the button. If you’d like to have this installed on your site please drop me an email at alan.tomkins@wsiwbm.co.uk  It costs a £50 onetime charge to install and removes any worries about getting caught by the EU bureaucrats .

Categories: Legislation

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