UK websites affected new ‘cookies law’
Major reforms to website design in the UK mean that businesses operating sites must change the way they track users from now on and receive ‘implied consent’ from those that don’t mind the site recording their online movements through “cookies”.
Experts believe many UK-based sites will not be ready for the law, but the ICO is targeting those not obeying the directive, with fines up to £500,000 being proposed for those who flout the law.
Unsurprisingly, confusion reigns over proceedings, and according to Rob Rachwald, Director of Security Strategy at online experts Imperva, the law is a good way of teaching consumers about how websites track them but is too vague to have much effect.
“Websites and internet technology have become so complex that it is impossible for a typical consumer to understand the implications of a simple click,” said Rachwald.
“This law will hopefully help people understand that cookies are the keys to personal information and present a threat if exploited, stolen, altered, harvested or hijacked.”
This week, Dave Evans, Group Manager for the ICO, told the BBC he believed that businesses have had long enough to prepare themselves for the new legislation, which was first mooted a year ago.
“Given that everyone has had a year [to comply], we’re going to shift from that kind of approach to one which will be very much more focused on those people who don’t appear to have done anything and asking them ‘why not?” he added.
If you run a website, the ICO has encouraged you to swot up on what you need to do before the cookie law gains some teeth. For advice, speak to our experts today.