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Cookie Law

If you visit, for example, the Financial Times website, you will be presented with a pop-up box warning you about cookies. This is becoming more common and is a result of the EU Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications, also known as the e-Privacy Directive, also known as the cookie law, which took effect on 26th May.

Since no-one understands the law and has to rely on vague guidance that gets updated without really clarifying anything, web designers who have heard of the law will likely rely on the annoying pop-up box for some time and it will become boilerplate which is instinctively dismissed by users. Luckily most web designers seemingly have not heard of the law or are otherwise ignoring it, probably because they have real work to get on with.

Dave Evans of the Information Commissioner’s Office writes:

We’ve stressed that there’s no ‘one size fits all approach’. We think that organisations themselves are best placed to develop their own solutions.

Freely co-operating organisations did solve the problem years ago, when they invented web browsers with cookie settings. This legislation solves nothing at the cost of confusing, worrying and irritating people.

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5 comments to Cookie Law

  • lucklucky

    The whole Political-Legislative-Complex think it needs to be seen doing something to justify increasingly resources taken from free economy.

  • Stephen Willmer

    Yet more evidence that we are a nation of laws rather than arbitrary governmental whim. Excellent.

  • permanentexpat

    More EU crap.
    Never mind, with luck it’ll all be over soon.

  • There is a protest outside the EU offices on Smith Square this Saturday at 12, against ACTA, DEA etc. Six libertarians will attend to add their voice to that, I’ve drafted a leaflet and on the back at the bottom is a nice little section on this particular peice of silliness.

    I’m not convinced there will be that many passers by, or EU people hanging around to (re)educate on the topic, but as part of a global day of action there is a shot at press coverage.

  • I was just talking to a colleague who runs a popular web site as a hobby. He uses Google ads to pay for the hosting. He said he turned the advertising off because he didn’t have time to understand the cookie law or implement the changes. Now it is costing him enough money that he is considering shutting down the web site.

    The costs of this are there, on the margins.