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New cookie legislation

Mon 28th May 2012

Well the EU’s new legislation on cookies has landed, but as with all of these things it is a lot of fuss about nothing. Instead of giving you any control or choice over what is stored in a site’s cookies (a bit like Facebook’s app privacy controls), it merely requires a site inform you what it is using cookies for. That is the same use of cookies all sites have had for the past 10 years: to track you as a unique user, and to serve you adverts.

It seems to me is the only result is that every site is going to have an annoying popup when you visit it, to direct you to it’s “cookie policy” page, which is as boring and ignorable as their “privacy policy”, “end user license”, “returns policy” and “copyright notice”. All it is going to tell you is what you either already know, or will not understand and hence will not care about.

I’m all for openness and understanding of what is going on behind the scenes when you use technology, but I don’t think forcing the technology provider to plaster a small public safety warning on the front of it. The real, long term solution is to educate the users and improve digital literacy. While these notices may intrigue a couple of people enough to find out more, most will click “confirm” and carry on with their lives…

From → Digital Literacy

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