On the 26th May 2012 – the EU Cookie Law directive will come into force in the UK – see here for a full explanation from the ICO website
When you visit the ICO website you will see an “opt in” box at the top of the page – which gives you the “choice” of whether I allow a “cookie” (a piece of tracking code) to be added to my computer (and in this case “improve” my experience) or whether I decline the “request”. The screen shot below shows how the ICO website is displaying the “opt in” option:
So Why Should I Care About This?
The main worry for all website owners is that those using Analytics data (such as Google Analytics) – which uses a “cookie” to track how someone uses & navigates your website – will have to request “permission” to track this activity. Below is an image that illustrates the impact that this “cookie request” by the ICO had on their own website traffic – this is a very scary prospect -
As you can see the “permission request” for opting in absolutely decimated the traffic the analytics data could use – this means that if this is a sign of things to come for websites who use this data positively (and in all honesty you REALLY should), then all the vast improvements we have seen over the last few years regarding better, engaging websites that have improved their customers experience based on the data they were getting back (anonymously) from their users, will (almost) cease to exist. Web developers would simply have to use “guesswork” and not hard data driven evidence to improve our websites.
There have been comments made that the Google Analytics cookie could be deemed “low risk” on other blogs including the tech republic blog, however other services that could suffer significantly could be things like re-targeting adverts that are displayed to you after you have visited a website.
So my questions are:
- How are you going to implement these changes to your website?
- Are you happy that you will need to pay your developers to “add” this function to your website?
- What ideas do people have that will allow some “creativity” to display this message (and get a better response to the ICO website) – for example delia online has this creative as a pop up display
4. Are we really going to want the “internet” to request “permission” on every single page we visit?
5. Would you prefer “targeted” ads (that are actually something you have already shown an interest in) or would you prefer random ads and some bloke singing about car insurance?
Let me know you thoughts below.