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Late change allows 'implied consent' for cookies
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'Implied consent' will be considered valid under the new cookies law, it has been announced.
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is introducing new regulations regarding the use of website tracking devices, in order to comply with the EU ePrivacy Directive.
But in a late amendment, the ICO watered down the cookies law just hours before it was due to come into force.
Stephen Groom, head of marketing and privacy law at law firm Osborne Clarke, claimed this is a "striking shift".
"Previously the ICO said that implied consent would be unlikely to work. Now it says that implied consent is a valid form of consent," he stated.
"Now it tells us that 'implied consent has always been a reasonable proposition in the context of data protection law' and that it remains so in the context of storage of information or access to information using cookies and similar devices," he added.
Earlier this month, the Direct Marketing Association warned that many UK marketing professionals remained in the dark over the definition of 'consent' in the new cookies law.
Some 47 per cent of marketers said they were not confident that their efforts to gain consumer consent to place cookies on their devices would meet the new requirements of the ePrivacy Directive.
The late change may allay some of the concerns held by website owners, but it remains to be seen whether the alteration is deemed acceptable by the European legislature.
Several commentators have expressed concern that the change will leave the UK out of step with the rest of the EU.
Posted by John Lynes
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