The Sorry State of UK Cookie Law Compliance
In recent years politicians and law makers have really fought hard to bring laws and regulation to the internet, often unnecessarily and with risible results.
The reason behind this is that the politicians that come up with the laws and write the regulations are, for the most part, totally and utterly clueless to how the internet works. You have to remember that these politicians are usually 50+ and are totally blindsided by the rapid growth of the internet and the changes in society that this brings.
These very politicians often view the internet in an entirely antiquated and non-enforceable way, yet they have an enormous power to wield law and legislation over it.
This is a terribly worrying state of affairs.
A fine example of this is the EU cookie law (e-Privacy Directive) a guide to which can be found on the Information Comissioners Office (ICO) Website: here
In fact, they even provide an exhaustive guide to the cookie law and steps to take to ensure proper compliance: here
However, I know we are all children of the TL;DR generation so lets skip to the main points:
- Websites MUST acquire the consent of users prior to placing cookies on their computer
- Implied consent can only be assumed provided reasonable warnings/information has been given
So let’s take a look at how websites have dealt with this:
One of the most obvious implementations is with the BBC:
BBC Cookie Law Compliance
Google also complies fully with the regulations:
Google Cookie Law Compliance
As do the major political parties:
Conservatives Cookie Law Compliance
Labour Cookie Law Compliance
And, most notably, also even the websites of the extreme right wing political group: The British National Party:
BNP Google Cookie Compliance
Great, so there is a law in place and everyone follows the law and all is well.
Well, not so fast.
Clearly there is this law in place, so to whom should we turn when someone breaks this law?
Surely, if someone breaks the law, you would turn to the police to save the day and punish the bad guys, right?
I mean, if even the fascist, right wing, morally abhorrent, BNP follow this law on their website, surely we can trust that our own police services will fall in line with compliance here.
Could you imagine the level of embarrassment to be had if your local police website broke a law that was followed by such an otherwise appalling organisation?
Lets take Northumbria Police as a quick test:
Northumbria Police Lack of Cookie Law Compliance