Revised legislation for the EU’s e-Privacy Directive means that a vast majority of EU countries are now violating the law.
The European privacy law requires websites within the EU to obtain a visitor’s consent to install a cookie in their browser. I believe the law is badly drafted and should be revised to ensure that browsers make the request. Otherwise, you will be asked if you wish cookies to be enabled every time you visit a site. The only way to avoid this, is to allow cookies to be stored.
There are already browser add ons that allow the user to block cookies on a site by site basis. NoScript for Firefox is one.
The UK have taken a practical approach to this by allowing 1 year for businesses to comply with the EU law.
Huge hit for online advertising
However, this has huge implications for affiliate marketers. These are companies that run websites and collect referral fees for products sold. Most of the tracking is done via cookies. As a result, many websites will take a huge hit financially.
On top of that, websites that use Google Adsense and other ad networks will also be effected. Third party cookies are the main concern. However the prominence of Google Analytics and Facebook like buttons etc. mean that most Irish businesses must provide a cookie opt-in to comply with the law.
I believe that the EU should appraise the financial implications of the legislation. No doubt, it puts EU businesses at a distinct disadvantage to their non-EU counterparts. It could cost EU businesses billions per year when you factor in both direct and indirect revenue lost.
I believe that the legislation is unnecessary. However, we have to deal with it. I will be keeping a close eye on the Irish Government’s actions. Hopefully, they will take the same level headed approach as the UK by allowing businesses one year to comply.
This TechCrunch article sums it all up.