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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.)
With just over a month until the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 is enforced, it was high time that an organisation with the weight to set a precedent got off the fence and took a serious position on the matter.
Who better than the UK's Government Digital Service?
I’m not sure I expected the UK government to be the one to lead the charge on cookie law compliance, and I’m certain I didn’t expect them to be the ones to argue that web analytics are “essential”, but that’s exactly what they’ve done with their snappily titled Implementer Guide to Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations (PECRs) for public sector websites.
So does it stand up to scrutiny? And more pressingly, does it get the rest of us out of a potentially difficult situation?
The EU cookie laws, and the potential effect they can have on online businesses, represents a major challenge. So how can they comply without harming the user experience and damaging their revenues?
I've been asking Meriel about what websites should be doing to prepare for the implementation of the cookie law, and how this will affect the user experience.
Antitrust regulators in Europe have Google in their sights. In November 2010, the European Commission opened an informal investigation into the search giant to determine if it is abusing its position in the market.
The investigation covers everything from the company's treatment of competitors' search results to its new social network Google+. Normally, antitrust investigations like this take years to complete, but it appears that the EU may be moving much more quickly than normal.
In response to the European Commission’s Green Paper on electronic payments, published today, Mastercard is the first major payment company to officially lend support to the campaign.
The goal of the paper is to expand electronic payments to help European businesses grow, and consumers to shop easily and safely online, instore and via their mobile devices.
I’ve been on record a number of times saying that I think the EC Directives relating to cookies are fundamentally flawed. We could make a parallel with the current UK/EU Euro ‘situation’ but let’s not go there. In the UK the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has a duty to enforce these directives and, as they say, “This isn’t going away. It’s the law.”
Yesterday the ICO released its updated guidance for UK website owners. You can download the PDF from the link in the news release.
Given the tough task of interpretation, guidance and enforcement that is the ICO’s duty, I have to say that I think this document is a valiant and comprehensive effort given the task and I’d commend them for this. I would urge you to read it for the full details. It is clearly written and quite practical.
Below are some of my initial thoughts on reading this latest guidance.
The European Commission has today announced plans for an open data strategy that will require all EU countries to make public data available in digital formats.
Led by digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes, this includes everything that public bodies produce, collect or pay for, such as geographical data, statistics, meteorological data or anything derived from publicly-funded research projects.
In January, draft language for the new European Data Protection Directive, is expected to be released publicly.
The directive's goals include setting in place guidelines for the protection of data that originates within Europe and laying out if, how and when that data can leave Europe. The directive will replace the EU's existing Data Protection Directive.
Facebook is the world's largest social networking company and widely considered to be one of the most powerful internet companies in the world.
So powerful is Facebook that many observers see it as a potential threat to entrenched players like Google.
Despite Facebook's power, size and revenue, however, it remains privately-held thanks in large part to co-founder Mark Zuckerberg's desire to keep the company free from external influences which might be distracting and harmful.
But that soon could be changing according to the Wall Street Journal, which is reporting that the Palo Alto-based company is prepping an IPO in the second quarter of 2012.
Manley is SEO Director at LBi, and he has been working with clients recently, preparing for the full implementation of the EU cookie directive.
This directive (here's the pdf if you have a few hours spare) was introduced in the name of privacy, but has serious implications for online businesses.
I've been asking Manley about what the directive will mean in practice for online businesses, and what they should be doing to prepare themselves...
On the way into the office today I noticed a bunch of tweets along the lines of 'Interflora wins EU PPC case vs M&S'.
I have just read the ruling in full, and I don’t interpret it as a win at all, but there are some key takeaways that you need to be aware of if your brand is involved in bidding on competitor trademarks.
Although businesses have an extra year to chew on it, barring a miracle, they'll eventually have to figure out what the updates to Regulation 6 of the UK's Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 mean and how to make sure they're adhered to.
Those updates, of course, require that users provide "consent" for the placement of a cookie on their machines.