EU countries not ready for cookie law

Tough new European rules aimed at giving consumers more control over how their web browsing is tracked cannot be enforced by member states.

According to the BBC no European government has drawn up the guidelines for how the ePrivacy directive will be enforced.

Alex Hanff, of Privacy International, said he is shocked by how unprepared European governments are for the directive which comes into force on 25 May.

He said that the law has been coming for three years and the IT industry and governments are simply not ready for it.

Part of the problem is that behavioural advertising could make advertisers a lot of cash. It depends on the use of cookies to get the data required.

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the European Advertising Standards Authority have both argued for self-regulation, and have drawn up guidelines for cookie use on websites.

But the EU was a little worried about cases which showed that some advertisers did not give a monkey’s about privacy.

The campaigners are also hamstrung by a philosophy which requires punters to opt-in to for every cookie.

In the UK, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has admitted to the Beeb that guidelines will be available at the end of this month, the details of how companies should roll them out will not be ready for the May 25 deadline.

Apparently the problem is technical. However the DCMS is “leading the way” in Europe which means the rest of them are doomed too.