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Changes to the UK law on Cookies

     
9:34 am on Jun 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have just had an email discussion with a client who has referenced the following document: [ico.gov.uk...]

It seems that an EU Directive requires these changes and the interpretation is as follows:

The new requirement is essentially that cookies can only be placed on machines where the user or subscriber has given their consent.
6 (1) Subject to paragraph (4), a person shall not store or gain access to information stored, in the terminal equipment of a subscriber or user unless the requirements of paragraph (2) are met.
(2) The requirements are that the subscriber or user of that terminal equipment--
(a) is provided with clear and comprehensive information about the purposes of the storage of, or access to, that information; and
(b) has given his or her consent.


The client wants us to let him know the impact on his site of this law.

And I thought: well, for starters, you'll have to turn off Google Analytics until you have asked permission...

Any thoughts as to how much of a utter nightmare this could turn into?
9:48 am on June 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Cookies that are "strictly necessary" for the user to operate the website are exempt from the law.

Google Analytics are not needed for user operation but shopping basket cookies are.
1:26 pm on June 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I would argue that analytics, which are used to improve user experience, are strictly necessary.

But anyhow, regardless of this proviso, it doesn't change the fact that this directive has a massive potential impact on the web community.
3:07 pm on June 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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They are not strictly necessary for the user to use the site. Anything else, you need permission.

I think it will have quite a big impact but since no countries are enforcing the law yet, it might be a while before people take it seriously.

Don't be surprised if Google Analytics are working on other tracking methods for EU customers.