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The Cookie Law

Finally those little snippets of electronic information that websites have left behind on your computer will be subject to EU legislation.

Website owners (at least those based in the UK) will need to get consent from visitors in order to store cookies on user’s computers.

The revised Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations come into ‘force’ tomorrow (May 26) and the ICO has given companies 12 months grace before taking any enforcement action.

Further bedtime reading here:

The phrase “easier said than done” springs to mind. The blend of Human Rights Law and Technology has always turned up some interesting challenges.

The risk is an interesting one. Obviously if a user has setup a user account on an ecommerce website, then cookies aren’t going to be needed as all your personal information is stored on the server side.

It’s those innocuous websites you visit, have a browse around, decide you’re not interested and never visit again that cause issues. Why should they be allowed to store your personal information and browsing habits?

So yes, consent is a good idea and almost leads to a world where one should be able to anonymously browse the Internet (for world, read EU). Just like the good old days before cookies were invented.

But, somewhere in the back of my mind I get the feeling that the majority of Internet users in the UK just won’t care. They’re going to click “Yes, I consent to a cookie” just like the billions of people that accept 100+ page licensing agreements without reading them.

Slowly but surely we’re getting there and maybe we’ll turn the tide of public “Click OK” mentality around one day…