The EU Cookie Law

Background information about the EU cookie law and the privacy debate.

The EU Privacy Directive

Here’s a selection of useful material and links surrounding the EU e-Privacy Directive and its debate.

Implied Consent

In the UK the Information Commissioner’s Office is responsible for enforcing privacy laws. Here are their official guidelines:

ICO Guidelines

ICO video summarising the latest developments:

The Privacy Debate

Gary Kovaks, CEO of Mozilla, makers of Firefox, speaks at TED on the privacy challenge we face today. As Gary says, “web privacy is not all bad” – he does then scaremonger somewhat, but he makes has a valid point about third party tracking.

Do Not Track

There is an interesting solution making some inroads into the browser market called, which allows website users to opt-out of tracking technology altogether. Currently it is only adopted by Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari (the notable omission is of course, Google).

In order for it to work, it requires both users to set up their donottrack settings and websites to implement the technology. Given most users don’t know what cookies are, this technology has some way to go before it becomes commonplace.

Industry Solutions

A quick round up of what other organisations are doing around the internet. Just click on each company's name.

  • Econsultancy – a UK/US based Online Marketing website, provides their view on best practice.
  • John Lewis – a leading UK retailer – provide an entire microsite on cookie information in addition to their implied consent solution.
  • British Telecom – offer privacy 'settings' via a slider to choose the level of opt-in. A very clever implied consent solution produced by agency LBi – they report 90% opt-in rates, despite offering complete opt-out.
  • BBC – operate an implied consent model with a microsite of information on the subject. They choose to display the notice only on their homepage and only show it once. You can read Econsultany’s write up of the BBC solution in this article.

General Information

Just click on the names below to view the links.

An informative page about cookies by the ICO, the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest. They also produced a guide which can be downloaded (download PDF).

All you could ever want to know about cookies, available on Wikipedia. Quite a technical write up, yet easy to understand. has some general advice both for website owners and the general public alike. A good resource.

The International Chamber of Commerce have produced comprehensive guidelines for businesses in the UK (download PDF).

European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA) have a website with guidelines for further information.

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