Steve Fenton

Common sense rules for UK cookie law

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer… get legal advice if you need it.

Back in January I penned a rather annoyed article about the ridiculous EU cookie law, which required website owners to get permission before storing non-essential cookies. I also implemented the letter of law on my own website, albeit rather sarcastically by asking whether I was allowed to store a cookie and redirecting people to a search engine if they said no.

In the months building up to the official implementation date, more and more companies sprang up to offer consultancy on this law – further demonstrating how a rubbish piece of legislation can encourage an entire mini-industry of hangers on who want to either charge you to audit your website or supply you with scripts to run on your web pages.

The good news to come out of all of this utter nonsense is that the UK Information Commissioners Office has, at the very last minute, decided that it is acceptable to use “implied consent”. This means that you don’t have to splatter users with messages, acceptance buttons and cookie configuration pages when they drop onto your website. Implied consent means that the emphasis is on the user to update the settings in their browser – not on website owners to implement these settings a second time.

This makes sense doesn’t it. Now a user can open their browser settings and describe what cookies they want once, rather than five billion times and website owners can stop worrying about a dangerously massive fine for breaching a stupidly incompetent ruling.

Hooray for Britain.

Written by Steve Fenton on