ICO: rules apply to placement of cookies on all devices

16/05/2012

The ICO’s most recent advice, this month, is that in the long term, it expects organisations’ websites to be compliant with the cookie law, irrespective of the device they are viewed on. In other words, it will expect organisations to offer the same functionality for turning cookies off and deleting them when using browsers not only on PCs and laptops but also on tablets, mobiles and other devices.

The ICO says that “It is important to recognise that even when browser settings are compliant with the new changes, not everyone will be using the latest software as soon as it becomes available. For example, people who access the Web using different devices such as mobile phones - these may not be able to update or set cookie preferences effectively. Therefore UK companies can’t simply wait for browser manufacturers to develop a quick fix and will instead need to take a proactive approach to ensuring compliance.”

While there is no all-encompassing browser solution as yet, the ICO says it will continue to work with browser providers to make sure that browser settings can help individuals to manage cookies in the future.

There is still no clear-cut answer to treatment of third party cookies. The ICO says: “The person setting the cookie is responsible for the placement of third-party cookies, but we have been clear that both the company and the advertiser will have a responsibility for ensuring users are clearly informed about cookies and for obtaining their consent.”

The deadline for cookie compliance is 26 May. Read more about this topic in PL&B UK, May 2012, to be published on 17 May. To subscribe, or to purchase a single issue, go to http://www.privacylaws.com/Publications/uk/

Cookie compliance across Europe is a topic at PL&B's 25th Anniversary International Conference in Cambridge, 2-4 July 2012. The Early Bird discount applies for three more days until Friday 18 May. To see the programme and to register, go to http://www.privacylaws.com/Events/Annual-Conference/2012_Annual_Conference/

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