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News and Comment April 2012

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22 April (Part 2) - Cooking up trouble

Say no to the EUOn 26th May last year the EU launched another of its regular attacks on trade and commerce. This time it was attacking e-commerce and its particular target was website cookies. A website can operate without cookies but its functionality will be severely restricted. No shopping site could possibly operate without them. The EU is insisting that users be allowed to opt out of the use of cookies. The new law is so difficult to comply with that the UK government allowed a year’s grace during which it would not prosecute non-compliant websites but from the end of next month web masters face the prospect of half million pound fines.

Although we are close to the deadline few sites show any sign of complying probably because compliance is so technically complex and the few commercially available tools that might achieve compliance are so expensive. The Information Commissioners’ site features such a system and their opt in system has reportedly cut recorded web visits by 90%. has a different system which whilst very easy to use and clever is yet to be ruled fully compliant.

This site uses a cookie to store your preferred blog text size and another one to count page hits. It does not use any sort of tracking cookie which is the EU’s principal bugbear but that doesn’t mean Bonkers is exempt from the law. I have placed a warning at the foot of each page and until a simple solution becomes available I shall be hoping that the Information Commissioner does not regard Bonkers as top priority for their attention.

Bexley council’s website is a technical mess and I am constantly amazed that so many links appear to do nothing even on my (please excuse the bragging) 80 megabit fibre connection. There is certainly no sign of compliance with the EU Privacy Directive. If Bexley does not modify its site by 26th May 2012 they will be in breach of the law again. I for one will do absolutely nothing about that, the EU is a far more malign influence on my life than Bexley council could ever dream of.


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