ICO Issues Cookies Report Card

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published the Half-term report on cookie compliance (13 December 2011).”Our mid-term report can be summed up by the schoolteacher’s favourite clich├ęs ‘could do better’ and ‘must try harder’”, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said. Mr Graham said in determining their compliance, organisations should ask themselves whether their sites are doing anything unknown to users, and secondly, whether users are afforded appropriate choice in how they use the site. He suggested that appropriate strategies to achieve these ends may include: switching off cookies until users turn them on again; using a “registration” process for users, during which they can indicate their agreement with the website working “in a certain way”; and in cases where users know “some things are more likely than not going to happen when they arrive at your site”, making sure they “know where to go and what to do” if they would like more choice in the matter. Mr Graham said the first option was the “safest”, but the two alternatives could be practicable provided users were informed and aware.
ICO’s media release (13 December 2011)
(Source: ICO)