In May 2011 the law on cookies across the EU changed this being the EU its not simple though and different countries across the EU implement this in different ways. In the UK this was delayed for a year so you could tell anyone asking that you had a plan for what you were going to do. I was randomly talking to a solicitor last night and it reminded me I should probably look in to how to comply by the 26th of May.
It seems as I understand it from reading the information commissioners site that the only cookies you need to get users permission for are the ones not essential to the functioning of the site. Which means mainly the problem is with cookies set from third party sites. Such as google analytics which I’m not sure the information commissioner really provides any useful solutions for.
I guess people main concern is when they are tracked by an advertising network. You know those ads the ones where the same advert appears across several sites. They know you visited that weight loss site earlier so you get ads for flab busters on the next site you visit which is bizarre since that site is about Meerkats.
Obviously all this law is dumb and if you are worried about people tracking you you can set your browser to block cookies from the domains you don’t like or use a blocking plugin for your browser. Newer browsers have options for blocking tracking, The version of Firefox I’m using today (9.0.1) has a tick box under ‘tracking’ saying ‘tell websites I do not want to be tracked’.
I’m just reading the beta version of the new government website on cookies at www.gov.uk/help/cookies that seems friendly and ‘I guess’ they know what they are doing so perhaps the way forward is to follow what they do. At least that way I can point out they got it wrong too.:)
18th of April – After I wrote this I had a brief poke at using google analytics for basic mobiles to see if that used cookies, it does, so don’t bother it also seems to error muchly.
- Guidance from ICO on new cookies regulations (PDF)
- Cokies explanation on .gov.uk
- Cookie law deferred for one year (25 May 2011)
- Cookie laws according to Pinsent Masons
- The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003
- The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011
- ‘Must try harder’ on cookies compliance, says ICO 13 December 2011)
- A month to go on Cookie Law: Will Google Analytics get a free pass?