Cookie Law: Dead in the Water?

At last the Information Commissioner has bowed to the inevitable and further watered down the UK Cookie Law.

As of today websites can officially accept set cookies without asking first, rendering more or less meaningless one of the most pointless – and unenforceable – laws in recent years.

So hopefully that will spell the end for one of the most annoying features ever to have to hit the web: the cookie consent widget.

These annoying little blighters have been springing up on websites for the past year or so – asking everyone if it’s okay to set cookies.

The Cookie Law just annoys people

Some would disappear if you ignored them, others refused to go away and tracked you right through a site and others popped up again as soon as you said yes or no to their insistent demands.

Cookie Consent Widget
Goodbye Cookie Control – We won’t miss you

As a website owner, if you set yours according to the letter of the law then your site would not record statistics until the site visitor agreed, and social media add ons like Facebook Like buttons would not work.

So until people agreed you could not measure them, meaning your website statistics only recorded some of the visitors to your site.

We always advocated a lighter approach in our blog posts on the Cookie Law and Complying with the Cookie Law.

To be fair the Cookie Law was the biggest bane on usability since the arrival of Flash websites.

Cookie warning notice

But now it is dead. All you have to do is have a cookie notice on your site – and that’s it. Not even an annoying widget.

It would appear to be a victory for common sense, although the ICO is portraying it as ‘job done’. More likely that it was a totally unworkable piece of legislation that has been nothing but a gigantic pain for everyone as it changed, changed and changed again.

So will you miss the Cookie Law? Was it a good thing? Add your views below.

More information

ICO to change cookie policy to recognise implied consent –

Changes to cookies on our website – Information Commissioner’s Office

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