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The EU Cookie Law – a bit of a damp squib ?

If you have been following my blog this year, you will remember that back in May, the new EU Cookie Law came into force and many were getting quite worried about complying with it and the threat of big fines (up to £500,000) from the ICO for non-compliance.

Well, the deadline came and went along with a last minute change to the law which meant that it permitted 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 seemed to be the popular choice for most website to adopt, i.e. displaying a message warning site users that it makes use of Cookies and pointing them in the right direction if they wish to disable Cookies, otherwise they just continue as normal.

Six months down the line, it all seems to have been a bit of a “damp squib”. The ICO has received just 550 reports from web users about website cookie policies. The number of sites these complaints related to was only in the order of about 200 and after investigation, the ICO only deemed it necessary to write to about 100 of them to ask what plans they had in place for compliance. These sites are generally large, very popular sites. No fines have been issued so far.

To put the issue into context, a recent report by indicates that the ICO received more than 53,000 complaints relating to unwanted marketing communications, so Cookies seem to pale into insignificance really in comparison and the ICO apparently considers the cookie issue as not being a great threat.



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

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