Ann Winter
Ann Winter

Member Article

Kino Creative on EU Cookie Directives: part 3

The EU directives cover all kinds of electronic data storage, not just cookies, but cookies are causing the biggest noise. The law requires informed consent from site visitors before cookies are set, potentially stalling traffic to the site. Newcastle-based web design agency Kino Creative have commissioned a series of articles suggesting ways for SMEs to comply while explaining the cookie laws, which Ann Winter has summarised for Bdaily.

Are the EU cookie directives already out of date?

The traditional media have really got their teeth into the EU cookie directives: an internet scare story plus a bit of EU bashing scores double jeopardy with their majority target audience. Everywhere the

Cookie Monster springs up in headlines and header images, ravenous for pliable minds…

Big Brother versus Jekyll and Hyde

Web masters and law-makers are perpetually playing catch-up. To industry insiders, law-makers seem like Big Brother squashing innovation and strangling entrepreneurial initiative. To non-specialist consumers of mainstream media, the online industry has as many faces as Jekyll and Hyde, now convenient and enabling, now predatory and potentially malicious.

A glance at the 2010 statistics from Price Waterhouse Coopers shows us who the EU cookie directives are designed to protect:

41% of the 1000 strong sample were unaware of different types of cookies

37% did not understand how cookies work

37% did not know how to manage cookies on their computer


[For a full summary of the results see]

What price transparency?

The premise of the EU cookie directives is to de-mystify the cookie, reduce the fear factor and hand control to the consumer. But do they want it? And if not, is micro-managed “informed consent” the right approach?

Consumer satisfaction surveys prioritise speed, convenience, and reliability far above being informed about cookies, no matter how many scare stories about malicious spyware and online viruses they hear. Consumers leading busy lives, already swamped with data protection passwords, respond positively to one-stop-shop solutions, not fragmented, time consuming browsing experiences. See my last post on “maximising opt-in requests” for some good examples. Ultimately, will SMEs have to choose between legal compliance and business sense?

Next in this series: Cooking up mouth-watering compliance strategies

Previously in this series: Audit your cookies; maximising opt-in requests

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ann Winter .

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