Feeds

Almost entire EU now violating Brussels cookie privacy law

Steelie Neelie threatens 'necessary measures'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The deadline for the implementation of a European privacy law on cookies passed with a whimper at midnight last night, after just two Member States issued a full notification to Brussels.

Meanwhile, 19 of the 27-bloc countries that make up the European Union ignored the 25 May deadline on implementing the full, or indeed partial, set of measures laid out in the revised legislation for the e-Privacy Directive.

At the end of yesterday, only Estonia and Denmark had notified the Commission, with officials in those states confirming that they had transposed all of the EC measures on internet cookies into their national law.

The UK, France, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Latvia and Lithuania all offered the Commission partial notifications, even though Brussels' officials had made it clear that implementation of all the measures was required from each member state.

Finland is also expected to implement all parts of the 2009 legislation. But it hasn't notified the EC yet.

The European privacy law came into force this morning requiring websites within the EU to obtain a visitor's consent to install a cookie in their browser. But readers would be forgiven for thinking little has changed online today.

Indeed, the UK government effectively freed up web owners in Britain from the burden of implementing the changes for one year, after the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham – whose office is tasked with enforcing the law – confirmed yesterday that no action would be immediately taken against companies that ignored the rules.

"We're giving businesses and organisations up to one year to get their house in order," he said yesterday.

The Register asked Brussels spokesman Jonathan Todd to explain what the lack of interest in the privacy law meant for the EU.

"That a large number of Member States have failed to fulfil their obligations to meet a deadline that they themselves had set," he said.

"For its part, the Commission may open infringement proceedings against the Member States in question as a matter of urgency."

He pointed out that Europe's digital agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said earlier this week that she would "take the measures necessary to fix that situation vis-à-vis Member States and telecoms operators".

But the warning appeared to have been largely ignored, leaving many website businesses perplexed by the new rules.

As for the detail missing from the UK's submission to the Commission, Todd told us that "they have notified everything except the law giving the necessary new powers to Ofcom – we know that they have adopted this law but they have not yet notified it (we presume they will imminently)."

Blighty's communications minister Ed Vaizey said earlier this week that his government department was talking to browser vendors to work out a "technical solution" via a browser setting.

Some privacy advocates claimed that Vaizey was appeasing advertisers by shying away from implementing an effective mechanism that would allow web surfers to consent to their online movements being tracked. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.