In May 2011 the Information Commissioners Office made the announcement that any website operating within the UK must explicitly seek consent for the use of internet cookies. Internet cookies are basically text files that are stored on your computer, which track your activity online. Its what enables you to come to our website and share articles without having to sign into your Twitter or Facebook account all of the time, and what enables you to see your recent history from websites like Amazon or Very.co.uk in adverts.
Initially the law was called for a year to allow websites to implement the technical solution that complied with the legal framework. It was then employed a year later in July 2012. Even though the law was put in place, a very minuscule amount of businesses actually implemented the system. Well yesterday it was announced by the UK’s privacy watchdog, that websites will no longer require an individuals’ explicit consent in order to serve them with ‘cookies’ when they visit a website.
The ICO said in a notice on its website that it “felt this  was an appropriate time to introduce the law” and that they felt “people didn’t know much about cookies and what they were used for.” However the ICO say that “Since then, many more people are aware of cookies – both because of what we’ve been doing, and other websites taking their own steps to comply. We now consider it’s appropriate for us to rely on a responsible implementation of implied consent, as indeed have many other websites,”
Essentially what they are saying is because people didn’t know a lot about cookies and how they worked when the law was introduced, it made sense to inform internet users on how it worked. However the method they used was far from effective, in fact after 18 months the initiative is now being scrapped in favour of a page that websites have to put up which “informs users” on the nature of cookies and how they are being used through website they are on.
We predicted in July last year a couple of days after the law went into action that it would never work, largely because of the way it has been implemented – upon loading a website in UK, users were greeted with a banner/popup that linked off to a page with lots of technical-jargon that resembles a Software Licensing document that is found whenever you install a new piece of software onto your computer. People were just clicking “Yes” to get off the damn’ thing, rather than because they felt as though they knew what cookies are and were ok with the website using them.
This news basically allows us to still confidently say that politicians know nothing about the internet, and that they should seek professional help before coming up with daft laws that people don’t have the time to neither read nor comply with.
Tagged 2013, cookie law, cookies, featured, ICO, ICO Change Cookie Law Policy Users No Longer Have To Give Their Consent When Visiting Websites, Internet cookies, news, rory mitchell, supplimentary, tech news, technology news, UK cookie law, UK internet cookie law, UK law, Volt, voltmagonline
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