The Cookie Law, 28 Days Later [VIDEO]

About a month ago the greatly anticipated cookie law came into effect, designed to save us all from the rampaging threat of cookies invading our internet privacy and/or eating our defenceless babies.

It’s been a while, and we’re ready to emerge from our secure bunkers and see what’s still left of the Internet.

Our study found 95% of UK sites have done nothing whatsoever. Better still, 76% of sites that aim to be compliant have merely added a tiny cookie link like this:

[ http://rightmove.co.uk/ ]

Generally these link to a colossal technical document and give the user no control over their privacy whatsoever.

Thanks to the last minute u-turn — sorry, ‘clarification’ — of the law 24 hours before it came into effect, the few sites that probably are compliant still set cookies. However at least they tell you about it while they do so:

[ http://www.channel4.co.uk/ ]

Truly, we live in a brave new world.

Should anyone wish to complain about a site in the UK, the governing body has thoughtfully employed a drunken monkey with a PhD in Pissing Off Users to design a complaint form. 10 pages long, the form asks questions like the name and expiry of any cookies used – and expects the general public to suffer through this to address their confusion.

It’s like a waiter asking someone if they enjoyed their meal, but only accepting 10 page written answers, that include questions about the customer’s blood type and bowel movements.

So I’m ready to call it now. The cookie law is doomed to die. For the most part it will be ignored, or not used properly, those who comply will suffer unjustly and no-one will complain because they don’t care enough to fill in a 10 page form.

Moral of the story: politicians, please keep your mitts off our Internet. If you must interfere, consider consulting an 8 year old child first – at least they know how to use it.


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  • http://twitter.com/drgs100 drgs100

    Well done guys. Most useful information on the cook law in my view. Cheers!

  • http://8gramgorilla.com/ Gordon McLachlan

    Couldn’t agree more. My guess is that will everyone will have forgotten about it within a year.

  • http://twitter.com/idea15webdesign Heather Burns

    Hi Oliver,

    I referenced your presentation twice – to great audience reaction – in my own presentation at WordCamp UK this past weekend. I “called” the law too, but for different reasons.

    http://idea15.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/the-eu-cookie-law-and-wordpress-where-we-are-and-where-were-going/

    Now, who’s up for reporting ICO for their own cookie law c*ck-up? (Hint: don’t tick the cookie acceptance box on their own site, then try to get past their home page.)

    Best,
    Heather