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ICC takes lead to find cookie solutions

In the frenetic run up to the Cookie Regulations becoming law, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) played a key role in bringing law makers, the regulator and commerce together. The – sometimes heated – exchanges at meetings facilitated by the ICC forced DCMS to issue an eleventh hour open letter of explanation and significantly influenced the ICO’s agreement of a 12 month enforcement “holiday”.

But website owners cannot simply take the summer off. There is significant work to be done to find solutions for the need to obtain informed consent from users and the ICC has a working group which is hoping to deliver results. DMA representatives are actively involved in these discussions and are looking for input from website operators.

The problem is that there are few current examples on show. Most websites have yet to attempt to get consent, adopting a “wait and see” approach. The ICO itself, unsurprisingly, adopted full opt-in on day one of the new cookie regime. Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that cookie take up has been low with less than 10% giving consent.

With the prospect of almost no website analytics in the future, Google is said to be putting pressure on EU Governments to rule out cookies used for these purposes. Brands can also take some comfort in comments from the DCMS which suggest that analytics cookies are at the “privacy neutral” end of the cookie scale.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands has become the latest EU State to implement the cookie directive with a requirement for full opt-in consent. The drafting also means that foreign sites being accessed by Dutch nationals would have to comply.
If all this makes you feel depressed about the future of cookies take a look at this humorous video by website testing company Silktide.

Don’t forget you can access the Opt-4 cookie primer here and see an example of a Cookie Audit Questionnaire here.

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