On 28 March 2014 a bill was sent to the lower house of Parliament under which the rules on cookies laid down in the Dutch Telecommunications Act (Telecommunicatiewet) will be relaxed. For cookies that 'provide insight into the quality or effectiveness of service delivered via the internet and have little or no impact on the internet user's privacy', it will no longer be required to inform the user and request his consent pursuant to the Telecommunications Act. Examples of such cookies are analytic cookies, a/b testing cookies and affiliate cookies, provided - among other things -  that no user profile is drawn up.

For tracking cookies the duty to inform and request consent will remain in effect. Tracking cookies in this bill have been defined as cookies with which a user or subscriber can be treated differently (on the basis of monitoring websites surfing behavior). It should be remembered that the cookie rules also apply to other automatic data collection procedures such as the use of web beacons and device fingerprinting. As formulated in the Telecommunications Act, the rules apply to 'the storage or accessing of information in a user's peripheral/terminal equipment'.

It is expected that the new rules can enter into force end 2014.

Click here for our earlier newsletter about the draft bill which (with the exception of the definition of tracking cookies) hardly deviates from the current bill. This newsletter sets out the cookie rules.