CookieLaw Blog July 18, 2013

The Cookie Law Lives

“The report of my death was an exaggeration.”
Mark Twain.

If you actively follow articles and news about the cookie law, and if you are reading this I assume you do, then you cannot have failed to notice the apparent affirmation that the cookie law is no more, and you have probably seen the widely circulated ‘The cookie law is dead’ infographic.

It’s a good piece of design, funny and well marketed by its originator.  It also has a message that many people want to hear, and this more than anything is probably responsible for its popularity in certain tech circles.

However, a significant number of people, including some who ought to know better, are circulating it as a statement of fact, and some appear to be offering it as the basis of advice to remove compliance notices from sites altogether.

The problem of course is that it is completely wrong. Which is why it reminds me of the often misquoted line by Mark Twain.

Not only is the law still in place, there is an increasing amount of pressure for websites to comply with their obligations.

Several UK MPs were in the spotlight recently, including the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling (), because they had not changed their websites to comply with the law.  The ICO has said it will be sending warnings to the MPs reminding them of their responsibilities.   Last year it sent warning letters to some 170 websites, including that of Deputy PM Nick Clegg, as part of its enforcement activity.

Even more significantly perhaps Google has been told by both the ICO and France’s CNIL to change its Privacy Policy.   These changes are mostly to do with a lack of disclosure about what uses Google makes of the data it collects about users.  The vast majority of that data will come in to them via cookies.

And on the ground, far from abandoning efforts to make websites cookie law compliant, we are seeing renewed interest from organisations of all sizes, to ensure their websites are seen to be obeying the law.

The cookie law is alive and kicking.

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