EU Website Cookie Directive Is Crumbling

It has been reported by the E-consultancy on the Trustee report for EU cookie directive compliance, that only 12% of the highest ranking top 50 websites in the UK are complying with the directive.

Most alarming are that neither France or Germany’s top websites were complying with the onscreen pop-up banners or tabs to alert users about how the website that they are viewing uses their personal information.

This is not really that surprising as the directive was not exactly a very tight piece of legislation and it was very badly executed. While its intentions were very admiral, putting the responsibility on the website owner was quite unrealistic and bound for failure. Given the number of active websites that exist in Europe, it is impossible to enforce.

Website users are now getting very tired of seeing pop up boxes and banners informing them that the website they are viewing is using cookies. Once someone has seen the message they have seen them all, users get the message now and understand what cookies are. Unfortunately, the EU have created perfunctoriness instead of user engagement for the cookie directive.

A better strategy to enforce such a policy would have been:

  • Enforce a requirement for website owners to be transparent about their cookie policy and have it easily available on their site
  • Seek co-operation from the likes of Google, Mozilla, Safari etc
  • Provide information of cookies on every new internet viewing piece of hardware

It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months, it will unethical to single out a percentage of websites that are not complying and too costly to contact all the website owners. It looks likely that the directive will slowly disappear over time and be forgotten about until a well thought out strategic plan is put in place.