The stupid cookie law is dead at last

The organisation responsible for policing the UK cookie law has just announced that they will stop asking users for permission to set cookies on their own website. In other words:

Cookie Law summarised

The Information Commissioner’s Office - who for brevity I’ll call Fickle the Clown -  says they’re doing this “so that we can get reliable information to make our website better”. They’ve changed their mind because “many more people are [now] aware of cookies”.

In future Fickle will use a banner to tell their visitors that by visiting their website they consent to the use of cookies, and they’ll link to a page explaining what cookies are and how to disable them in your browser. So exactly what websites were doing in 2009, except in a bigger font.

What better way to celebrate the history of this fading law then with an infographic? Here’s one we made earlier:

Cookie Law infographic - reduced size

History has shown us that whenever a law opposes the will of the people, it doesn’t tend to do much. It may have been illegal to tape songs off the radio, but there’s little appetite from police officers to cart schoolchildren off to prison for it. And so it is here.

This law has been much derided and ultimately proven to be unworkable by the people charged with enforcing it. The ICO is simply doing the inevitable: ignoring the law as much as they can, until it goes away.

For more, check out Idea 15′s excellent critique of the law, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!


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