EU "Cookies" Directive. Interactive guide to 25th May and what it means for you. EU 'cookie laws' set for further overhaul. The Privacy and Electronic Communications (e-Privacy) Directive was last reformed in 2009 and resulted in major changes to the way website operators display information about cookies and obtain internet users' consent to their use. However, Jean-Claude Juncker, the new president of the European Commission, has said further reforms should be pursued, from possibly as early as next year.
Juncker made the recommendation in a letter to Günther Oettinger (7-page / 153KB PDF), the new EU commissioner for digital economy and society. "During our mandate, I would like you to focus on … supporting the vice-president for the digital single market and the commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality in finalising the negotiations on an ambitious Data Protection Regulation in 2015," Juncker said. Cookies are small text files, stored on internet users' computers, which record those internet users' online activity. Consent must be "freely given, specific and informed". 20+ examples of EU cookie law 'compliance' When the EU e-Privacy Directive was first announced, it was thought that the internet would collapse as we were hit with a wall of pop-ups asking for cookie consent.
Traditional high street shops, don't tag or fingerprint you, as you walk through their front door. They don't secretly assign you a unique identifier, so they can recognise you on subsequent visits, and start building a profile on your movements and behaviour. They don't share this knowledge with other shops in order to build a fuller profile. They would like to, but the technology doesn't exist to do it en masse, yet. Some of them use various systems like club card and loyalty schemes to track their customers (not visitors), but these are opt-in, limited services. Why should the web be any different? Just because we can do these things without our visitors knowledge, and just because we have been doing it for the last decade, does that mean we should continue? Yes, this legislation makes it more difficult for me to build websites. Cookie-consent-tracking-table.
One Per Cent: Websites to tell users if they're tracked. Duncan Graham-Rowe, contributor Soon websites in the European Union will need to get explicit permission from surfers before being allowed to track their online browsing habits. The new regulations come into force on 25 May as part of the European e-Privacy directive, which places tough new restrictions on the use of internet cookies. These small files, which allow websites to identify unique users, have always been controversial. On one hand they underpin the way many online businesses operate by enabling them to track user behaviour to garner traffic data or for marketing purposes. But, with the onus currently on the individual to opt out, privacy advocates argue that they are inherently invasive. The new measures are likely to be celebrated as a victory for anyone who doesn't want records to be kept of every time they visit a site and of which pages they view.
Both Google and Mozilla are working on solutions which may help though. New European rules on cookies coming in May. Internet Privacy : The Cookie Controversy. The most pressing issue concerning cookies, more than possible hardware invasions and general unease with the placing of files on user hard drives by third parties is the concern of user privacy and the potential for abuse. Advertisers and webmasters are currently using cookies to develop detailed profiles of users and their browsing habits.
Each click on a particular type of advertisement or page in a website is added to the profile maintained by the maintainer. For the time being this information is primarily used for website design and the placement of banner advertisements, but the possibility also exists for these profiles to be sold and resold to other commercial interests (Roubulack). While this might at first seem to be only a nuisance, which would probably lead only to a serious increase in "targeted" junk paper mail or e-mail, there are more serious concerns for potential abuse.
It is an extreme example, but does point up a disturbing prospect for abuse. Businesses urged to prepare for EU cookie laws. Businesses need to ensure they are ready for EU legislation requiring them to get consent if they want to track user behaviour. So says the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which warned the roll out of the new law will be “a challenge.” The legislation will come into force on 25 May 2011 and will require UK firms to get consent if they want to place cookies onto users' computers.
“It will have positive benefits as it will give people more choice and control over what information businesses and other organisations can store on and access from consumers’ own computers," said information commissioner Christopher Graham. “Businesses and organisations running websites in the UK must wake up to the fact that this is happening.” Despite the warning, Graham said the ICO was clear the changes should not have a detrimental impact on consumers nor cause “an unnecessary burden on UK businesses.” He said one option could be to allow cookie consent to be given over browser settings.
Bittersweet cookies. Some security and privacy considerations. New net rules set to make cookies crumble. 8 March 2011Last updated at 03:50 Websites face restrictions on how they watch what their users do. The way websites track visitors and tailor ads to their behaviour is about to undergo a big shake-up. From 25 May, European laws dictate that "explicit consent" must be gathered from web users who are being tracked via text files called "cookies". These files are widely used to help users navigate faster around sites they visit regularly. Businesses are being urged to sort out how they get consent so they can keep on using cookies. Track changes The changes are demanded by the European e-Privacy directive which comes into force in the UK in late May.
The section of the directive dealing with cookies was drawn up in an attempt to protect privacy and, in particular, limit how much use could be made of behavioural advertising. This form of marketing involves people being tracked across websites, with their behaviour used to create a profile that dictates the type of adverts they see. Data delay. Governments 'not ready' for new European privacy law. 9 March 2011Last updated at 07:55 Cookies are used by websites to save user preferences between visits. European rules aimed at giving consumers more control over how their web browsing is tracked will not be enforced come May, experts have said.
No European government has yet drawn up the guidelines for how the ePrivacy directive will be enforced. It states that websites must seek consent from users before using tracking technologies. Privacy campaigners say the solutions being put forward are "not fit for purpose". Detrimental Alex Hanff, of Privacy International, is shocked by how unprepared European governments are for the directive which comes into force on 25 May.
"This has been on the cards for three years and the industry and governments are simply not ready for it. Behavioural advertising is a burgeoning industry for advertisers and, potentially, a very lucrative one. Browser solution Continue reading the main story “Start Quote End Quote Rory Cellan-JonesTechnology correspondent, BBC News. Stupid EU cookie law will hand the advantage to the US, kill our startups stone dead. As if European startups weren’t already at a notional disadvantage in addressing smaller markets, having access to less venture capital and being geographically spread out, a new EU-wide law proposes to hobble its innovation companies by slapping big privacy warning signs all over their sites. From 25 May, new European laws will dictate that “explicit consent” must be gathered from web users who are being tracked via cookies.
That translates into warnings which will put off consumers from EU sites, while US-based startups will be free to continue as they are. How convenient huh. Although businesses are being urged to work out how they gain ‘consent’ from users, this is bound to cause consternation. The new European e-Privacy directive is supposedly to protect privacy, although seems to be operating in a bubble. Privacy controls have existed in Web browsers for years. Indeed there are even privacy specific browsers. Why the Cookie Monster Won’t Kill European Startups: Tech News and Analysis «
The BBC says the rules are “set to make cookies crumble”, while TechCrunch Europe says it will “kill our startups stone dead”. So what are they so worried about? Let’s walk through the issues. The new directive (an amendment to a similar, earlier one) is, essentially, an attempt to make users aware of the personal data that they hand over to web-based businesses. It’s probably also worth pointing out what the amendment isn’t: It’s not a law. It doesn’t make opt-in compulsory yet. It doesn’t ban cookies.
EU “Cookies” Directive. Interactive guide to 25th May and what it means for you.