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A last minute change by the ICO on Cookie law

Having reached the deadline today (24th May) for making  websites compliant with the new EU Cookie Laws, it is expected that thousands of UK websites will not meet the new regulations.

A last minute change in the ICO guidelines, released on Friday (23rd May), now permits websites to use “implied consent” which allows the act of continued use of a site to be taken to mean users are happy for cookies to be used. This change puts the onus onto the user rather than the website.

This makes solutions a little easier to implement and  appears to be an approach generally taken by some larger, prominent  web sites (e.g. BBC, national newspapers) who are making steps towards compliance.

The ICO has said it will write to 50 of the U.K.’s most-trafficked websites to remind them of the rules and give them 28 days to comply  hence one  presumes that this is why such sites are making this effort to comply because such large sites with high traffic would be the most likely targets for the ICO to make examples of.

It would however seem to be very difficult to think that any direct action could be taken on any sites when the vast majority of Government web sites (including that of the Prime Minister apparently) still do not comply.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said in a recent statement it would offer help to non-compliant sites rather than take legal action against them. They also said that May 27th is not a cut-off date but an attempt to help websites focus on their cookie use so it seems clear that this will be ongoing for some time.


Steve Wood owns and runs Scalar Enterprises based in Portsmouth in Hampshire. He offers a range of services including Web design and Internet marketing to small businesses and SMEs in Hampshire and the surrounding areas.

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