UK websites can assume implied consent over EU cookie legislation

Paul Boag

Recently Chris Scott (our MD at Headscape) outlined his understanding of how the European Union’s legislation over cookies are going to be enforced in the UK.

The post confused some because Chris’ recommendations didn’t seem to fulfill the European Union legislation. That was because the Information Commissioner’s Office here in the UK was talking in more consilitory tones than that laid out in the legislation itself. Although unofficial, the ICO appeared to recognise the challenges of the legislation and was trying to work constructively with website owners to comply.

However, with only 48 hours to go until the legislation was enforced, the ICO formalised their position according to the Guardian newspaper.

Implied consent

According to the Guardian, UK website owners can now presume “implied consent” if users visit a UK website and continue to use it after being informed about the cookies in operation on the site.

As the Guardian writes:

The use of “implied consent” shifts responsibility to the user rather than the website operator, and will come as a relief to thousands of website operators who have been struggling to comply with new EU directives…;

With the ICO’s position confirmed in black and white, UK websites can breath easier and be confident in implementing the position Chris outlined in his previous post.