The deadline for the e-Privacy Directive is fast approaching. While the subject has generated significant attention across Europe, the word 'cookie' continues to dominate the headlines.
In fact, the part of the Directive that applies to cookies is written more broadly and requires consent for non-essential tracking, regardless of whether a cookie is involved.
In this article, I'll review the facts behind the 'cookie law' and lift the lid on what consent really means for UK businesses.
A majority of UK consumers (55%) would prefer to see more relevant ads served to them online, while 52% are happy to see ads as they appreciate that it allows them to access free content.
However, though 48% presumably aren't happy to see ads, just one in ten would pay for ad-free content.
A study published by the IAB and ValueClick, based on 2,000 interviews (conducted online and offline), looks at consumer attitdudes to online ads, privacy and, of course, cookies.
Here are a few of the stats from the study...
The EU e-Privacy Directive and subsequent ICO guidance is complicated and confusing enough when you look at desktop sites alone, but then there's the question of how it translates to mobile.
To recap: the 'cookie law' covers the use by businesses of information stored on users' 'terminal equipment' and this covers mobile sites and apps as well as desktop sites.
In a new white paper, Mark Brill from the DMA has bravely attempted to untangle some of the issues around mobile and the cookie law.
I've looked at some of the recommendations from the report, and the threat that the e-Privacy Directive poses to mobile marketing and m-commerce...
The EU 'cookie law' is clearly a threat to online business in the UK, whether through higher bounce rates caused by intrusive cookie opt-ins, or loss of income if customers opt out of third party cookies used for remarketing and ad targeting.
Some have estimated that it will cost the UK economy £10bn in a worst case scenario, but this is just guesswork at the moment.
I asked some of the expert contributors to our EU Cookie Law: A guide to compliance report how the EU E-privacy directive will affect their business, and if it's possible to comply without affecting usability.
With the EU e-Privacy Directive's compliance 'deadline' just a month away, many businesses are wondering not only what they should do about it, but also how the law will be enforced by the ICO.
While working on our EU cookie law guide, I spoke to Dave Evans, Group Manager for Business & Industry at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
I asked how actively the law would be enforced, the likely penalties for non-compliance, and whether implied consent solutions would be acceptable.
While around a third of retailers will use pop-ups to request consent for cookies, the vast majority will not make cookie consent compulsory.
These stats come from a survey of 100 retailers with revenues of £3m p.a. or more, conducted on behalf of Eccomplished.
The figures suggest there is much confusion amongst retailers over how to comply with the e-Privacy Directive, also shown in our previous survey of internet marketers.
I've gathered together some of the most interesting digital marketing stats released this week, from our own and third party research.
Stats include web users' attitudes to cookies, e-commerce sales for March, digital salaries, and mobile commerce.
The EU E-privacy Directive will be enforced from the end of next month, and businesses have some big decisions to make about how they will comply.
Will businesses attempt to fully comply by using an opt-in consent box for users, will they attempt to do just enough to escape the attentions of the ICO, or simply do nothing?
I asked some of the expert contributors to our EU Cookie Law: A guide to compliance report how they intend to comply with the cookie law.
Websites applying opt-in consent mechanisms to comply with the EU E-privacy directive will have a hard time convincing users to accept cookies, as just 23% of respondents said they would be happy to say yes to cookies.
One major issue with this directive is public awareness of what cookies are and what they do. Suddenly, web users will be seeing messages about cookies all over the place, accompanied with references to tracking, privacy etc.
There is a need for education about cookies and online privacy in general, but that very process may be a turn off for many users.
To gauge possible public reaction to the implementation of cookie compliance measures, we conducted an online survey, using the Toluna Quick survey tool.
The survey accompanies the launch of our new report, The EU Cookie Law: A guide to compliance, which looks at how businesses can adapt to the directive.
The results suggest that businesses have a lot of persuading to do in order to convey the benefits of the cookies they use on their websites, and to persuade users to opt-in, or at least not to opt-out.
There has been a huge amount of interest within the Econsultancy community around the EU e-Privacy Directive, sometimes rather misleadingly referred to as the ‘EU Cookie Law’ (as it doesn’t just apply to cookies). This is not surprising as the deadline for compliance with the directive in the UK is May 26th so less than two months away.
People have been asking "So what is Econsultancy going to do on its site?", and "What do you think is best practice?", and "Will Econsultancy.com be compliant?". Today we have set live our ‘solution’.
(UPDATE, 18 April 2012: Our new report, The EU Cookie Law: A Guide to Compliance, explains the legislation as far as it affects UK online businesses, sets out some practical steps that you can take towards compliance, and includes examples of how websites can gain users’ consent for setting cookies. Do check it out.)