This week's infographic, brought to you by silktide, is a great example of how to make a good infographic. It's clear and piquant.

Perhaps a controversial choice, though. The topic is the EU Cookie Law, and there's certainly a leading opinion in here somewhere (maybe even a hint of invective - we don't quite condone the jibe at octogenarians).

I think most would agree that, though there may be the germ of a decent idea somewhere in this legislation, its execution has left much to be desired. 

There was much panic amongst site owners and marketers in the run up to the enforcement deadline last year, mainly because people were not told clearly what was necessary for compliance.

Should they add interruptive pop-ups for new visitors and risk massive bounce rates? Or instead go for an 'implied consent' solution? Or do nothing? In theory the latter two options carried the risk of fines, so the worry was understandable.

We opted for an implied consent solution as we believed that our users were savvy enough to know what cookies are, but also deserved some clarity on what we do with their data. 

There were also dark predictions that the EU Cookie Law would cost UK Plc up to £10bn, but thankfully this hasn't come to pass. 

Indeed, up to the end of 2012, the ICO received just 550 complaints about cookies on websites, and they are much more concerned about spam emails and unwanted calls. 

Concerns reported about cookies via the ICO website:

Since then, only a further 87 complaints have reached the ICO, compared to 78,667 about unwanted marketing communications. 

So, a huge waste of everyone's time and money? 

Ben Davis

Published 5 July, 2013 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (4)



My feeling is, once people are used to something and even when you tell them it's invading their privacy and now they need to give their consent, the policy won't stop them using it.

This has been proved so many times. The Cookie Law has generated so much debate in the past and as a digital marketer I was once worried about lossing traffic to the website, but it didn't actually happen.

about 5 years ago

Sarah Alder

Sarah Alder, Managing Director at ICAEW

I hadn't actually realised that Google and Amazon had just ignored it (though when I read this I realised I had no recollection of seeing a pop up). Just off to re-read George Orwell's 1984.

about 5 years ago


Gareth Holt, Head of Technology at None at present

Google have done something now, but it's fairly recent, so the infographic is correct in saying that in 2012 they had done nothing.

I have no idea what might have prompted this though - maybe someone else can enlighten us.

If you go to and aren't signed in and have a clean cache, you will see a cookie consent message at the bottom of the page.

about 5 years ago


Richard Beaumont

Google changed to put a cookie notice because they were under investigation, and now both the UK and French Data Protection authorities are requiring them to make changes to their privacy policy or face enforcement action - partly because of non-compliance with the cookie law, especially being clear on how they make use of data collected through cookies.

about 5 years ago

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