As many as 90% of UK website owners are currently ignoring EU laws requiring websites to obtain ‘informed consent’ from users before employing cookies to store information from a computer or mobile device according to Gary David Smith, co-founder of Prism Total IT Support.
“The legislation does allow for sites to work on ‘implied consent’ if they know visitors have been made aware of revised privacy policies but its no good relying on a policy page that is out of date or difficult to find.”
The new legislation distinguishes between four types of cookie: those that are ‘strictly necessary’ for a site to function; those necessary for a site to monitor its own ‘performance’; those that add ‘functionality’ like remembering a password; and cookies which collect several information about users’ browsing habits.
The International Chamber of Commerce suggest sites should ask browsers to click on four separate icons but sites that do ask for consent to employ cookies usually only employ one pop-up.
The ICO has confirmed that they are receiving many complaints from users of UK sites but that in the first instance they will be working with site owners to improve their cookie policies rather then looking to fine transgressors immediately. The maximum fine for non-compliance is £500,000.