More on the cookie law
- The definitive guide to the Cookie law
- Cookie law makes most UK websites illegal: what you need to know
- Can we use analytics with the new UK cookie law?
- First example of new cookie laws in effect: brace yourselves
Ok so most European websites just became illegal due to a new law on cookies. If you’re in Europe, your website is probably breaking the law right now.
The law does allow an exception for some “strictly necessary” cookies. It doesn’t allow cookies for measuring visitors to your website or advertising. If you haven’t noticed, most stuff on the Internet is free and most of that is paid for by targeted ads.
The law is meant to help protect people’s privacy, but it comes over pretty heavy handed. It’s like banning all music to prevent another Justin Bieber album.
So – what happened?
A Directive isn’t a law but forces the member states to create their own laws; these were due by May 2011. Only 3 of the 27 countries met the deadline: Denmark, Estonia, and the UK which only sort-of-half met it.
The UK realised no-one was ready and on the day the law came out said they wouldn’t prosecute anyone for another year, which did a lot for the blood pressure of panicked website owners everywhere. But it is still law and anyone in the EU will eventually have to meet it.
There are only three things websites can do:
- Ignore the law
- Stop using cookies
- Ask for permission
If you ignore the law, chances are you won’t get sued first. That’s not sound legal advice, but it’s true. We expect most people will try to ignore the law as long as possible.
Or you could start asking for permission. If you want to keep on using cookies, you’re going to have to. And that means getting in people’s way.
One option is a popup, which were once so popular that every major browser blocks them automatically.
Slightly better: an accordion, which slides down from the top of the screen like this.
For a real example take a look at the ICO – they’re the body responsible for the new law in the UK. This – thing – appears at the top of every page, and won’t go away until you accept their cookies. Worst of all, the long question they ask assumes that visitors know what a cookie is – when surely the law is designed to protect those who don’t – and is doesn’t actually say what their own cookies do, which is track their own visitors.
So essentially the body responsible for telling us what to do has given us a fine example of what not to do on their own website.
- The law is here
- It probably won’t kill you (yet)
- Solutions are painful but necessary
Or you could just move to another country.
I’m Oliver from Silktide, I hope you found this useful, please subscribe for more videos like this one.