UK leads opt-in on cookie laws
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.
|EU Member State||Implemented in local law||Prior opt-in consent required?|
|Source: DLA Piper|