CookieLaw Blog February 18, 2015

Cookie Sweep Findings – Could Do Better

Most websites are providing information about cookies, but a lot less are obtaining consent and even fewer providing user controls.  These are the broad findings published this week by the ICO and Article 29 Working Party following their cookie sweep conducted last autumn. In many ways it reads like that familiar school report line – could do better (PDF).

Using a tool developed by the ICO, the home pages of just under 500 of the most popular websites across 8 EU member states, including the UK, France, Spain and The Netherlands, were scanned for their cookies. They then followed this up by taking a look at most of these to see what each site was doing to inform visitors about cookie use.

In total they found that around a quarter of the websites had no kind of cookie notice, although this varied widely across different countries.  In the Czech Republic 76% of sites had no notice, while in the UK the figure was just 6%.

However, this does not really show the whole picture. In 40% of sites that did have a notice, it was judged to not be sufficiently visible to visitors and a similar number had insufficient information about how cookies were being used.

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