The EU cookie law as statutory firewall

Those who attended my WordCamp London presentation on Saturday will recall this piece of information I recently found concealed inside of a cookie:

cookie

Here’s a good example of that.

https://twitter.com/cmorrell/status/580663010131369985/photo/1

What is happening here is exactly what I began warning about before the cookie law even took effect: access to statutory information is being made conditional upon cookie acceptance. In addition to that being an incorrect interpretation of the UK law, it also raises obvious discrimination issues.

The Scottish Government needs to take heed of a recent development in The Netherlands. DLA Piper summarised it like this:

the Parliament also accepted an amendment by one of its members on the use of cookie walls. According to the new Article 11.7a, par. 4a TA access to services of the information society delivered by public agencies shall not be dependent of prior consent. With this amendment, public agencies cannot refuse users who do not wish to pay for access to public services, by giving away their personal data.  As these services are already paid for by public resources, users should not, according to the explanatory note at this amendment, be forced to pay twice with their personal data.

Common sense at last.

About the author
Heather Burns is a digital law specialist in Glasgow, Scotland. She researches, writes, publishes, consults, and speaks extensively on internet laws and policies which affect the crafts of web design and development. She has been designing and developing web sites since 1997 and has been a professional web site designer since 2007. She holds a postgraduate certification in internet law and policy from the University of Strathclyde. Learn about hiring Heather to write, speak, or consult.

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