Overcooking the Cookies?


Well, it looks like everyone is starting to use their cookie warning but is it going too far for the average user? There are many sites who just put the cookie notice up on the screen and ask you to confirm you are happy for them to attach a cookie to your computer and explains how to opt out from them in the future but the vast majority are starting to get a little tedious…

Many more sites are using the constant warning where every time you go to their site a cookie notice appears on a pop up, this also includes the site of the Information Commissioner’s Office, who I think should really know better!!

There are some others I have found who give you chapter and verse about the type of cookies they use, and the file name suffixes but unfortunately they do not tell you what they are used for, just that you have to accept or decline them, which to me is a waste of time unless you are extremely well versed in cookie culture and understand all the cookie types (does anyone??)

So, is this just an annoying trend that website developers are using to get people to complain about the cookie laws or is it just laziness on the part of the vast majority of sites, like the ICO? To be honest I am really not sure about it and think it does not really comply with the regulations as all it is doing is saying that at this time I am happy for my computer to hold a cookie from your website. My understanding is that we should be told that if we agree a cookie will be attached to the computer and it is for updating (or whatever) purposes. It should then show how to cancel the cookie at a later stage or, which would be a lot better, have another click through to turn off and delete cookies from that site available to the user. Why complicate the whole thing with this constant requirement to accept cookies from the sites you use all the time?

Well, it looks to me as though the cookie users have decided on a plan to make the public complain about this so as to get the cookie regulations changed into something they want to use rather than what is best for business…. If we all start complaining to the ICO about them they may put it to the MoJ to relook at the legislation and come up with something more akin to we had previously, wouldn’t they? After all, the ICO is doing exactly the same thing to hack off the users of their own website.

Folk are asking where we go from here, in my mind we need to ensure the cookie regulations are not diluted but the users experience is made better by changing the way they process cookie notices. Let’s make it mandatory for firms to ask only once for your opt-in to receiving cookies, with an explanation of why they are using them and for what purposes. They could even have a click through for the more technical minded who want to know what type of cookie is being planted and finally a simple click box to opt-out, and have removed, cookies from that website.

Am I being too simplistic? No, I am trying to make website owners be more compliant and make better use of their customer’s time.

I look forward to reading your comments

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About KPG Professional Services

Kevin has been working in the Data Protection field for over 20 years with The Post Office, Royal Mail Marketing, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Glasgow Housing Association Ltd. He is also trained in the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and has supplied expertise and support in this discipline for the past 4 years. In his leisure time Kevin is a presenter on Hospital Radio, an SRU rugby referee and referee coach and also the stadium announcer at McDiarmid Park for his team St Johnstone in the Scottish Premier League.
This entry was posted in Cookies, Data Protection, Fair Processing, ICO, Information Commissioner, Justice, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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