An update on the EU cookie law

Dafydd Vaughan on 27 July 2011

“The law was meant to protect the privacy of people using the Internet. To accomplish this, the EU made over 90% of websites illegal”
Oliver Emberton, silktide.

Back in May I wrote about the new EU law on cookies that came into effect this year and will be enforced from May 2012.

On Monday, Matt Jukes pointed me to a free ebook (written by Oliver Emberton from silktide) about the law and what it means for websites within the EU.

I think this book is an essential read for anyone who develops or commissions websites. It should also be required reading for those who developed the law.

The more I look into this law, the more stupid & ridiculous it becomes. While I support what it is trying to do, the implementation is probably the worst possible solution. To use a common phrase, it is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. However, it’s actually more like using all the sledgehammers in the world plus a few Acme style anvils at the same time to try.

It is worth pointing out that the law doesn’t just effectively ban cookies. It also covers flash cookies, the HTML5 local storage facilities, java storage functions, silverlight and basically anything that stores data at the client end.

If this law is fully enforced, I think it could be the end of any form of innovation in European web development.

Any views stated here are my own and not those of my employer unless otherwise stated.