Crumbs! Thousands of sites fail to update cookie consent

Posted on May 31, 2012


The widely reported new European law controlling the use of cookies on websites came into force on Saturday May 26th, but many UK sites have failed to comply.

The new law had dictated that users of websites needed to give their “informed consent” for cookies to be used to collect their data. As a result, many sites launched a pop-up when users visited the site for the first time since the deadline.

Pointing users to their privacy policies, they request that visitors check how collected data is used.

However, recognising that many websites were struggling to meet the deadline, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) changed the definition late in the day. Now, users continuing to browse a site are determined to have given “implied consent” for cookie use.

Despite this relaxing of the ruling though, websites by their thousands are still not compliant which, considering there has been over 12 months to prepare, is surprising. Continuing its relaxed approach, the ICO said its first step would be to help, rather than punish, those not complying.

The introduction of the law has angered many though. Industry commentators cite that non tech-savvy users will be confused by the messages, whilst others say it could lead to reduced e-commerce spending.

What the effect will be of the new law, and how it will affect online trading will not really be known for several weeks. However, it is an important move, with cookies key to deciding what users see in the search query results, and shaping the content that SEO marketers deliver.

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