Sweet hypocrisy - Parliament.uk doesn't follow new UK cookie laws

24 April 2012

As you may have noted in the tech press, the UK is rolling out a much maligned cookie law which mandates all UK web sites must explicitly gather consent from visitors before setting cookies. There has been a general uproar online as the Information Comimssioner's Office has specifically noted that even analytics cookies such as those set by Google Analytics would not be exempt from this law, and those who ignore it can be fined up to £500,000.

The law actually came into force a year ago, May 25th, 2011, but has not been enforced for a year as the ICO gives sites time to settle in and bring their code up to scratch.

So as the May 25th 2012 enforcement deadline looms closer what renegade sites continue to ignore the directive? Never mind the voice of the people (BBC is still not providing any cookie opt-in) but even the official site of the parliament, www.parliament.uk is happily setting analytics cookies without user consent or notice even though the law is fully in effect (although not enforced).

Yes, the ICO has a cookie opt-in on their page, but one has to wonder at the numbers of jobsworths involved in this directive to be blustering in the press about non-compliance when they couldn't even get the official parliamentary sites (yes those which presumably passed this law) in order 11 months from the deadline.

16 comments

  • Tweedskin
    Incidentally, the ICO's method of getting users to accept cookies is the worst. Ever. You want to actively make the website difficult to use until the users accept the cookie and get on with their browsing.
  • Tweedskin
    Also, how do you know if someone has clicked they don't want to accept cookies? That's right, you have to put a cookie on their machine so your website remembers that they don't accept cookies. So you have to break the law to enforce it.
  • klingelton
    This is why browsers have that nice "do not use cookies" option.
  • Alexis
    OMG. I've never heard of this stupid law and visiting the ICO site brings up a daft question and tick box at the top. Did nobody ever think that stupid law would involve every poor sod having to read a disclaimer on every site they visit? We'll have to sign a piece of paper next time we want to take a shit next.
  • klingelton
    It's an utterly stupid law that will break the internet.
  • klingelton
    And the good eggs will follow the law, and the twats that want to harvest data will continue to harvest data - it's a law with no teeth...
  • Liam
    It wasn't the UK that brought in the law, but those interfering EU sods. Guess what, they are running Google Analytics and nothing on their site allowing you to opt in. Those cheeky French bastards.
  • Paul N.
    That's true Liam but out of the EU countries I think only 4 have actually taken steps to enact the EU directive. Most of the EU (even including data privacy crazy Germany) have not taken any enforcement or practical steps. As far as I know the UK is the first major country to try and implement the directive.
  • Phil
    @Paul Nikkel - Fixed the following statement for you: "As far as I know the UK is the first major country to try and FAILED TO implement the directive."
  • whatsit t.
    ^knob
  • whatsit t.
    Will this site comply?
  • corbyboy
    So if I include Google Analytics on my website and the javascript from Google.com sets a cookie on the visitor's browser have I done anything wrong?
  • Tweedskin
    Corbyboy - Yes. Unless you have a pop up that tells users that you will send a tracking cookie to their machine and if they don't like it, they should probably fuck off. Sharpish.
  • Rich
    Ha...the site is now down for maintenance! :D
  • FatalException
    Don't you think it's fantastic having technically illiterate people trying to legislate the internet and technology. I mean this "Porn block" that the Daily Fail is pushing for is a never ending source of amusement.
  • klingelton
    poor show - taking the site down for maintenance during a period of high traffic. should be doing that stuff off peak...

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