A change in the recipe
The UK Government has now adopted the provisions of the Directive and, in principal businesses will now be required to obtain the consent of website users in order to collect or store their data by way of cookies.
Cookies are files downloaded automatically from websites and stored on users' computers, which enable website owners to track information on user preferences, their on-site browsing habits and where relevant, purchase details.
User consent – no more forced feeding
The debate has focused on how user consent can be obtained in a practical way. One view is that website owners could rely on users giving or withholding their consent through their computer browser settings which they adjust to switch on or off the computer's capacity to store cookies.
However, the ICO has warned against relying on this approach, particularly in the short term. Few browsers are sophisticated enough to cater for this at the moment, and some users will not access websites through browsers. While browsers may develop the capacity for dealing with consent in the long term this is not currently a solution.
The ICO is consulting widely to find appropriate technical solutions to gaining user consent. In the meantime it has suggested alternatives which include: the use of pop ups, more explicit terms and conditions, settings-led and feature-led consent. The ICO does not intend to lay down hard and fast rules.
Check the recipe