CookieLaw Blog November 28, 2012

Irish Data Protection Commissioner to Begin Cookie Law Enforcement

Yesterday at the ICC ePrivacy Seminar a representative of the Office of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner announced that they were planning to contact the owners of 50 of Ireland’s top websites as the start of a process to enforce compliance with Ireland’s implementation of the cookie law.

Their move is likely to be similar to the approach taken by the ICO in the UK initially – a process of asking what those websites are doing to comply with Ireland’s cookie law.

Gary Davis also stated that the focus of their efforts would be on those companies that are primarily established in Ireland.  Complaints received from Irish citizens relating to websites owned by companies outside of Ireland will be forwarded on to the Data Protection Authority of the country where the owner of the website is based.

One of the most confusing aspects of the cookie laws in many part of the EU has been the issue of jurisdiction and questions of which laws websites targeting consumers in multiple countries should comply with. It will be interesting to see if other authorities take the same position.

This approach by Ireland seems to be a very practical one. Their initial goal would seem to be to encourage compliance by widely used sites and therefore increase market pressure on smaller sites to follow suit.

Letters are expected to go out to the companies involved by January.

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