EU’s plans for those annoying cookie banners

Date: Thursday, 12th January 2017 | Category: , , , , , ,

Since the cookie law began to be enforced in the UK almost five years ago, internet users have become increasingly aggravated by the ‘annoying’ banner that appears at the top of the page every time you visit a new website.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small, often encrypted text files that are located in your browser directory. Web developers use these to help users navigate their websites efficiently and perform certain functions. They can also be used to track user activity.

What’s set to change?

The new plans release by the European Union will see users setting general preferences as oppose to having to give consent to cookies on every site they visit. The websites would then just have to read the cookie preferences rather than asking.

The reason for this change, which would also see banners for non-intrusive cookies removed, is to help tackle to ‘overload’ requests.

All good news?

Not quite. Experts have warned that this was to go ahead, advert-funded media and sites such as Facebook and Google could all be at risk.

James Waterworth, Vice-President of the Computer and Communications Industry Association has told the BBC: “The banners are certainly annoying. The question is whether they come up with something that’s better or worse.”

He continued, “If this is done wrong and it’s much harder to obtain permission, then it could have a serious impact on ad-funded services.”

The worry is that if users opt out of allowing all levels of cookies apart from the least intrusive, this would not work in the favour of a large amount of companies including news outlets and social media platforms.

It will be simpler for users though, right?

Wrong. Users will have to go through each individual browser and software application to set their preferences, possibly on mobile apps as well as browsers.

When is this set to happen?

May 2018 is the date that has been given by the European Commission however experts have warned that this would be a tight deadline so let’s watch this space. Either way, we expect there will be more changes before then!


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