Br0kenTeleph0n3

Following the broadband money

UK leads opt-in on cookie laws

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The UK is one of just five European countries to require website owners to get an opt-in from visitors in order to allow ‘cookies’ to track their movements on the internet.

According to a report from law firm DLA Piper, the others are Austria, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden.

Countries that have passed legislation to enable the so-called cookie law (Article 5 of the e-Privacy Directive) but that do not require customers to opt-in are Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Portugal. Several others are pending.

The Information Commissioner’s Office, which is responsible for enforcing the directive gave UK firms 12 months from April last year to implement the necessary changes. From 25 May, any UK website that does not ask visitors to opt in to have a cookie installed on their computer will be in breach and subject to action.

DLA Piper says, “The more the use of a cookie relates to the personal information of a user, the more robust the procedures to obtain consent will have to be.

It advises firms with website to check their systems now and to make them compliant as soon as possible.

The issue of cookies is sensitive politically and economically. Privacy activists see them as intruding on internet users’ privacy. Firms like Google and Amazon use them to estimate your preferences from your behaviour on the net. They use this to “push” information and advertising to you that may be interested in.

COOKIE MONSTERS

EU Member State Implemented in local law Prior opt-in consent required?
Austria Yes Yes
Belgium No TBC
Bulgaria No TBC
Cyprus No TBC
Czech Republic No TBC
Denmark Yes Pending
Estonia Yes Pending
Finland Yes No
France Yes No
Germany No TBC
Greece No TBC
Hungary Yes No
Ireland Yes No
Italy No TBC
Latvia Yes Yes
Lithuania Yes Yes
Luxembourg Yes No
Malta No TBC
Netherlands No TBC
Norway1 No TBC
Poland No TBC
Portugal Yes No
Romania No TBC
Slovak Republic Yes No
Slovenia No TBC
Spain No TBC
Sweden Yes Yes
United Kingdom Yes Yes
Source: DLA Piper
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Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2011/12/13 at 22:49

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