Confusion over EU cookie legislation

Category: General News | Posted on May 25, 2011

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The ’s implementation of new EU has been thrown into confusion, after Culture Secretary Ed Vaizey signed an open letter saying that websites may not, after all, need to gain user consent to deploy .

New laws stipulate that unless a cookie is required for a service, such as online checkouts, websites must gain consent from users before dropping them onto systems.

However, Vaizey’s letter says the new rules do not necessarily require ‘prior consent,’ and that there is ‘no indication in the definition as to when that consent may be given, and so it is possible that consent may be given after or during processing.’

This could effectively mean that websites can be let off the hook from deploying cookies, with the emphasis instead placed on browser settings offering the option to approve or decline consent.

Regardless, fines for breaching the new regulations will not come into effect until next year.

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