Ireland’s DPA starts to enforce 'cookie' law

Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner, Billy Hawkes, has written to some 80 websites, asking them to provide information on the steps that they have taken to meet the so called "cookie" obligations. The list of companies includes many household names, for example Aldi, Marks & Spencer, PC World, Ryanair, Ticketmaster and Vodafone.

Deputy Commissioner, Gary Davis, said: "This is a legal requirement now for 18 months and we are disappointed with the response of websites. Levels of compliance would appear to be very low compared to the UK for instance and we cannot allow that situation to continue. As a first step websites need to provide prominent and clear information to users as to what data they are collecting or allowing to be collected via cookies on their site. At a minimum this will begin to educate users as to the scale and type of data collection taking place and then better position users to take informed choices as to what cookies they wish to allow or block."

The websites have 21 days to respond to the Commissioner’s letter, sent on 19 December 2012.