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Posts tagged with Cookies

EU cookie law: UK government crumbles?

With just over a month until the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 is enforced, it was high time that an organisation with the weight to set a precedent got off the fence and took a serious position on the matter.

Who better than the UK's Government Digital Service? 

I’m not sure I expected the UK government to be the one to lead the charge on cookie law compliance, and I’m certain I didn’t expect them to be the ones to argue that web analytics are “essential”, but that’s exactly what they’ve done with their snappily titled Implementer Guide to Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations (PECRs) for public sector websites.

So does it stand up to scrutiny? And more pressingly, does it get the rest of us out of a potentially difficult situation?

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The 68 tracking technologies used by large news sites

You're probably aware that almost every website you visit tracks your behaviour in one way or another.

This post looks at which third-party tracking technologies the UK's largest news sites use.

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82% of digital marketers think the EU cookie law is bad for the web

While most digital marketers are making at least some preparations for the implementations of the EU's e-Privacy Directive, the vast majority see it as a negative step for the web.

Econsultancy has surveyed more than 700 marketers for their opinions on the EU cookie laws, and to find out what preparations have been made for the May 26 deadline. 

We have published the full results of our EU e-Privacy Directive Survey for you to download, but here are some of the highlights from the study. 

(UPDATE, 18 April 2012: Our new report, The EU Cookie Law: A Guide to Compliance, explains the legislation as far as it affects UK online businesses, sets out some practical steps that you can take towards compliance, and includes examples of how websites can gain users’ consent for setting cookies. Do check it out.)

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EU cookie law: three approaches to compliance

We've covered the impending EU 'cookie law' a number of times on this blog, but we've yet to see many practical examples of implementation. 

There are exceptions, such as the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) website, which has to set an example (though even this isn't enough to comply), but most are being kept under wraps. 

This is because online businesses are not going to add any interruptive messaging to their sites until the last possible moment, and perhaps not before they've seen what their rivals are doing about it. 

I've been speaking to 4Ps Marketing CTO Matt Stannard, who has kindly provided these mock ups of how some popular sites could choose to comply with the EU directive.

(UPDATE, 18 April 2012: Our new report, The EU Cookie Law: A Guide to Compliance, explains the legislation as far as it affects UK online businesses, sets out some practical steps that you can take towards compliance, and includes examples of how websites can gain users’ consent for setting cookies. Do check it out.)

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Google's privacy row with Apple highlights problems with EU cookie laws

Google is reportedly one of a number of advertisers that have been bypassing Apple’s privacy settings to track the browsing habits of Safari users.

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), code placed in display ads installed cookies in internet browsers without the user's permission.

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Q&A: Foolproof's Meriel Lenfestey on the EU cookie law

Meriel Lenfestey is Director at Foolproof, and is currently working with financial clients on compliance with the EU cookie laws

The EU cookie laws, and the potential effect they can have on online businesses, represents a major challenge. So how can they comply without harming the user experience and damaging their revenues? 

I've been asking Meriel about what websites should be doing to prepare for the implementation of the cookie law, and how this will affect the user experience. 

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Cookie compliance: Econsultancy analyses the latest ICO guidance

I’ve been on record a number of times saying that I think the EC Directives relating to cookies are fundamentally flawed. We could make a parallel with the current UK/EU Euro ‘situation’ but let’s not go there. In the UK the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has a duty to enforce these directives and, as they say, “This isn’t going away. It’s the law.”

Yesterday the ICO released its updated guidance for UK website owners. You can download the PDF from the link in the news release. 

Given the tough task of interpretation, guidance and enforcement that is the ICO’s duty, I have to say that I think this document is a valiant and comprehensive effort given the task and I’d commend them for this. I would urge you to read it for the full details. It is clearly written and quite practical.

Below are some of my initial thoughts on reading this latest guidance.

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Q&A: LBI's Manley on preparing for the EU cookie directive

Manley is SEO Director at LBi, and he has been working with clients recently, preparing for the full implementation of the EU cookie directive. 

This directive (here's the pdf if you have a few hours spare) was introduced in the name of privacy, but has serious implications for online businesses. 

I've been asking Manley about what the directive will mean in practice for online businesses, and what they should be doing to prepare themselves...

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ICO follows ICO's rules, cookie usage drops by 90%

Although businesses have an extra year to chew on it, barring a miracle, they'll eventually have to figure out what the updates to Regulation 6 of the UK's Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 mean and how to make sure they're adhered to.

Those updates, of course, require that users provide "consent" for the placement of a cookie on their machines.

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FTC seeks input on Dot Com Disclosures revision

In May 2000, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a number of guidelines designed to help companies stay in compliance with numerous consumer protection laws as they increased their presence on the then-nascent commercial internet.

The FTC's Dot Com Disclosures (PDF) document largely explained how existing laws around advertising and disclosure applied in the context of the internet, and provided some specific examples.

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ICO: take an extra year to chew on new cookie law

Wondering how your business will address the new law that requires users to opt in to cookies? There's good news: you can procrastinate.

That's because the ICO, perhaps facing the reality that the new law is fatally flawed, has decided to give everyone amnesty (as the Telegraph calls it) for violating the law over the course of the next year.

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Something to chew on: the ICO's vague cookie advice

If the Information Commissioner's Office has its way, cookies will soon be a lot less tasty to website operators.

That's because on May 26, the rules governing the use of cookies on websites in Regulation 6 of the UK's Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 will be updated in to require that a user "has given his or her consent" to the placement of a cookie in accordance with a new European Directive.

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