EU and cookies

EU Chews on Web Cookies article tells on Europe’s effort to regulate online “cookies”. The effort to regulate online “cookies” is crumbling, exposing how tough it is to curb the practice of tracking Internet users’ movements on the Web. EU officials see themselves as leaders on consumer-safety issues.

European Union last year passed a law requiring companies to obtain consent from Web users when tracking files such as cookies are placed on users’ computers. Now, Internet companies, advertisers, lawmakers, privacy advocates and EU member nations can’t agree on the law’s meaning. We’re now in a sort of no man’s land.

While the current EU telecom law states that cookies are allowed if Internet users are notified of them and have an opt-out option, in practice, the law has been interpreted more loosely. Internet-ad companies, Web portals and browser maker are watching closely. European regulators in Brussels promise guidance by early next year. The saga began more than two years ago, but somehow I see that this will not stop any time soon…..



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EC veep jumps gun on net privacy law
    No statement on withdrawn statement

    The vice-president of the European Commission has withdrawn a rather extensive statement on cookies and the EU Data Protection Directive sent out last week “without authorisation”.

    The bone of contention is in the interpretation of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive, or e-Privacy Directive – a continuation of the Data Protection Directive – which says that firms can only store and use the information on computers “on condition that the subscriber or user concerned is provided with clear and comprehensive information… about the purposes of the processing, and is offered the right to refuse such processing by the data controller”, with one exception:

    This shall not prevent any technical storage or access for the sole purpose of carrying out or facilitating the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network, or as strictly necessary in order to provide an information society service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Watchdog “Not Ready” To Probe Cookie Complaints

    “The UK data watchdog has admitted it doesn’t have any staff investigating cookie consent complaints, more than a year after the law came in via an EU directive. The regulation requires websites to ask before dropping cookies and other tracking devices onto users’ computers, and came into law in May 2011. “


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