18 December 2012

The ICO has published an activity report that summarises the concerns reported to it by members of the public with regard to UK website providers' use of cookies, the current picture and the action it is taking.

In the period between May and November 2012, the ICO received 550 reports via its cookie reporting tool. Most of the concerns were raised by individuals who were unhappy with the implied consent mechanisms authorised by the ICO or who felt that they had not been given enough information about how to decline cookies or manage them later. Others raised concerns about the new rules themselves and the effect on the usability of websites.

Overall, the ICO has written to 174 organisations between May and December 2012, and it is currently considering 14 organisations for further investigation. Going forward, the ICO reiterates that it will take a practical and proportionate approach to enforcing the rules on cookies. However, if an organisation refuses to take steps to comply, or has been involved in a particularly privacy-intrusive use of cookies without telling individuals or obtaining consent, it will consider using its formal regulatory powers, including the right to issue monetary penalty notices.

The full report can be accessed here; along with the illustrative report found here.

Appendices to the report can be found here. They include a list of the organisations to which letters were sent, as well as examples of the letters sent.