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Would You Like A Cookie? No Thanks...

Would You Like A Cookie? No Thanks...


An amendment to the EU's Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive, the new law puts the Original Affiliate Marketing Tracking Solution into the spotlight.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said:

"While the roll out of this new law will be a challenge, it will have positive benefits as it will give people more choice and control over what information businesses and other organisations can store on and access from consumers' own computers."

"The Directive will come into force in less than two months time and businesses and organisations running websites in the UK must wake up to the fact that this is happening."

"We recognise that the internet as we know it today depends on the widespread use of cookies and there are of course legitimate business reasons for using them."

Education high on the agenda.

Over the next two months, there will be a major job being undertaken regarding education and guidance for UK Businesses.

Originally considered two years ago - European lawmakers suggested revising a telecommunications law that covers cookies, with the old law requiring websites to let consumers 'opt-out' of cookies, which was done mainly via the web browser. This idea was 'flipped' by another committee suggesting that the user must 'opt-in' before cookies are placed.

Taken from the i-policy website, here is an understanding of the New Passed Law:

Old Law

'is only allowed on condition that the subscriber or user concerned is provided with clear and comprehensive information…about the purposes of the processing, and is offered the right to refuse such processing'

Draft New Law

'is prohibited unless the subscriber or user concerned has given his/her prior consent, taking into account that browser settings constitute prior consent, and is provided with clear and comprehensive information'

New Law as Passed

`is only allowed on condition that the subscriber or user concerned has given his or her consent, having been provided with clear and comprehensive information'

Industry Thoughts

As Hero has recently mentioned on the a4u forum - "IAB UK, and the AMC alongside it, have been involved in this for well over a year now and my understanding is that there should shortly be some announcements on the matter, clarifying the UK law and what it means for the online industry."

"This is an EU directive, so all country-members have to implement the law and monitor it as well."

Kevin Edwards, Strategy Director at Affiliate Window, said of the Directive:

"Recital 66 of the Directive allows for consent to be expressed by web browser settings but existing browser settings won’t be enough to ensure compliance. The key area will be around ‘informed consent’ which could lead to enhanced browser settings.

It’s worth remembering consent is not required if the use of cookies is ‘strictly necessary’ for a service explicitly demanded by the user. So it could potentially be argued that some affiliate functions, especially cashback sites, require cookies to function effectively.

We know the UK Government has been supportive of the digital industry’s endeavours to ensure minimal disruption of existing working practices and the UK, as the digital leader in Europe, is working closely with France and Germany to offer a cross-territory, universal approach.

At present the UK Government is leading two work streams, one looking at publisher solutions and the other enhanced browser settings.

It’s likely what happens with behavioural marketing will be crucial in how the EU views digital marketing more widely. As this type of marketing sits at the heart of the privacy debate the EU will look to this area in order to gauge how effective the industry is at regulating itself. I know the IAB is working hard to implement an accreditation for behavioural marketers similar to how ad networks created universal standards of best practice for their part of the industry via IASH."

More Information to Follow.

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Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

Content Director for PerformanceIN. Based in Bristol & London.

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