Back in May this year, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) decided to allow UK websites an additional year to comply with the European Union’s cookie directive. Out of all 27 member states, only Estonia and Denmark have fully implemented the ruling.
After the additional year is over, there is the threat of a fine up to £500,000 from the ICO. Interestingly enough, in an effort to get the ball rolling, the ICO decided to follow the ruling immediately. The following message appears when you first visit the website:
After an FOI request from a researcher called Vicky Brock, she discovered that 90% of internet users rejected the cookie, removing the ability of the website to monitor visitors. Considering this is from the website of an organisation devoted to protecting your information, this is a truly shocking statistic.
It is possible that with a large PR campaign It will be possible to educate people about cookies, improving their take-up, but if the results are replicated next year when the ruling is enforced, internet advertising may be severely damaged overnight.