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March 2012 Entries

European Cookies don’t taste too sweet

Being over here in little old New Zealand it can be quite easy to be sheltered from things going on in the rest of the wide world. Sure, we have the Internet (kind of), but it’s easy to let things going on around the world simply slip by. The European cookies directive is one of those things – the directive was passed on the 26th of May 2011, however I only heard about it in the past few weeks.

For New Zealanders reading this, you might ask “Why should I care?”, and the answer is – you don’t need to, although you might wonder why any Europe based sites you visit start asking your permission for cookie storage a lot more. But as we have a big European customer (Hi guys!) we have to care (or at least pretend to), even if that means essentially making our user experience worse.

So what’s it all about? Well:

On 26 May 2011 the European Commission made the controversial 'Cookies Directive' law. It applies to the UK and all european countries. It mandates that the use of cookies on european businesses' websites must be disclosed and explicit consent for their use be obtained from your users. The Information Commissioner's Office has given UK businesses 12 months in which to achieve compliance.


Ouch, but okay – let’s not debate the pros (?) and cons of this, and let’s not comment on the fact that it’s going to be pretty hard to enforce, and also we won’t make the “Hey, I’ll store your decision to not accept cookies in a COOKIE” joke, instead let’s just link to a couple of useful pages.

The first example gives you an idea of what you might run into in future when visiting European websites, while the second gives you a slightly more restrained example as well as a useful script to help you implement this without wasting too much of your own time.

Link: EU “Cookies” Directive. Interactive guide to 25th May and what it means for you

Link: The cookiesDirective.js


Happy compliance everyone!



This blog entry was posted @ Friday, March 30, 2012 2:45 PM | Feedback (0)