Friday, 25 May 2012

Cookies 4U

Tomorrow the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) imposes an EU directive to protect Internet users' privacy. The above graphic shows how ICO seeks permission to put cookies on a visitor's computer. According to the EU directive, all websites must do this by 26 May. Fat chance! Research shows that most UK government websites aren't ready for this hopeless directive (CLICK). My local council isn't ready for it. The BBC reckons it is ready; yesterday it asked my permission to put cookies on my PC, but that was a one-off. CLICK to read its privacy policy, which is a tiny link at the bottom of its home page. It tells you everything you ever wanted to know about cookies, but were afraid to ask. One of the problems is that the big players in the market are all American and can thumb their noses at EU directives. This blog is owned by Google. My Facebook pages are owned by Facebook. I know Google Reader tracks me everywhere I go. So does Facebook when I use my blog. I don't put cookies on anything, but I know they're there. My own privacy setting captures some of them. As for Google, the most popular search engine available, it refuses to allow me to visit a website unless I accept cookies, but it doesn't tell me that. Its Security Warning states that the website I'd like to visit wants to be added to my trusted sites list. Yes/No. Click Yes and I've given permission to put cookies on my PC. Click No and I don't get to visit the website I want to visit. So, this EU directive is pie in the sky. CLICK to read the latest from BBC News, whose cookies and graphics I've accepted for years.


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