The ICO has now had a change of heart
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for policing the UK’s interpretation of the EU Cookie law and has recently removed their own Cookie bar from their website ico.org.uk. Thanks to the brilliant www.archive.org we can demonstrate exactly how the ICO’s website looked nearly a year ago when the law came into force – http://web.archive.org/web/20120502075414/http://www.ico.gov.uk/
Does this mean the EU Cookie law is no more and how could we interpret the ICO’s website update?
Well, the law is not going away and it is still very much in effect throughout Europe. However, the new ICO interpretation of the law (that they are still responsible for policing) suggests that as long as you have the information about what Cookies are used on your website in an easy(ish) to find position then you are complying with the law. For reference the ICO have placed their “Cookies” page in the footer of their website.
In our experience the majority of internet users still do not know what a “Cookie” is and everyone we have spoken to have found the Cookie bars, popups and other permutations fairly irritating.
Ending on a positive note, it certainly seems like the ICO has – finally – got the balance right between ensuring that websites are as transparent as possible with their Cookie usage whilst not damaging design or hindering usability.