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ICO inundated with cookie complaints

12 Jun 2012

A total of 169 complaints have already been made to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) flagging up websites that are failing to comply with the cookie law that came into force on 26 May.

The figures were revealed by information commissioner Christopher Graham while speaking at an event organised by technology provider Evidon. He said this should serve as a warning to firms that ignoring the law could cause significant reputational damage.

"As of last Friday we had 169 reports [submitted]. It's fair to say that some have a little too much rhetoric but there are many where customers are pointing that well-respected brands are not doing anything about it [the cookie law] and can't understand why not," he said.

"Over time, this will be telling as it indicates not just who consumers want the regulator to investigate but also shows consumer mistrust of sites that don't treat them with respect and obey the law."

The ICO revealed to V3 in early May that it was going to introduce a cookie reporting tool on its website as part of its work enforcing and educating both firms and consumers to the new law.

Graham also revealed that the Article 29 Working Party, which represents all data protection authorities across the European Union (EU), is set to publish its own guidance on the implementation of the cookie law and it will be almost identical to that published by the ICO over the past 12 months.

"Those who believe that the ICO is somehow out of step with everyone else will be interested to know that the Article 29 formal opinion is absolute in line with the advice we have been giving to industry in the UK," he said.

For some insight on key ways to comply with the cookie law check out V3's quick guide produced when the law came into force.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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