Only a few hours before the UK’s cookie law was to come into effect, the law following the EU directive that was to put undue burden on site operators when the simpler solution would be for browser developers to simply highlight their already available tools, has been altered at the last minute. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has changed the law to say that websites can now claim “implied consent” which is a huge change in attitude.
The change has come after numerous web businesses and other websites including many of those owned and operated by the government were going to miss the deadline, with others actively ignoring the law. I wrote yesterday that the law is a misguided bit of legislation that has its heart in the right place in protecting user privacy, but was targeting the wrong group to make it effective. KPMG reckon that 95% of companies were yet to make any changes to be compliant with the law – implementation was certainly not going well.
UK businesses will welcome this decision by the ICO, as it was simply adding extra red tape to online businesses that are competitive because of their dynamism. The problem now, however, is that now UK law is out of step with the EU directive – but as no other European state was actually taking this directive seriously, it appears that almost every national government is out of step with the directive – putting the UK back on a level playing field with our neighbours.