In response to the EU Cookie Directive the UK has updated the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation. The UK Cookie Legislation came into force on May the 25th 2011. The UK Cookie Legislation is a direct copy of the EU Cookie Directive, but as a result of confusion around how to become cookie compliant the UK delayed enforcement of the law until May 26th of 2012 instead of EU’s May 26th of 2011.
The UK Cookie Legislation is planned to be enforced in May 26th of 2012. But the Information Commissioner’s Office (the ICO) has already started gathering information before the stated date, in regards to companies becoming cookie compliant.
Microsoft IE9 and the latest version of Mozilla Firefox already offer a setting to protect users from services which collect and harvest browser data and Google is working at integrating so-called ‘Do Not Track’ technologies into their Chrome browser.
The UK Government has made it clear that enforcement action will not be taken until appropriate technical solutions are available. The guidance states that cookies used for analytical purposes to count the number of unique visits to a website are caught by the requirement to obtain prior consent, it also states that provided clear information is given about their activities the ICO is highly unlikely to prioritise first party cookies used only for analytical purposes in any consideration of regulatory action.