Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

European countries ignoring privacy directive, says Commission spokesman

Citizen privacy not a priority for most nations

Article comments

New European Union rules to ensure privacy have been ignored by the vast majority of EU member countries, according to Jonathan Todd, European Commission spokesman for Digital Agenda.

Only Denmark, Estonia and the UK have so far notified measures to implement the revisions to the ePrivacy Directive, Todd said on Wednesday.

The new law, which aims to give Internet users more information about the data stored about them, was supposed to be implemented by all EU countries by May 25. However it is not clear whether even the three countries that have taken measures are fully compliant with the law, leading to speculation that better protection of personal data online for customers is far from a priority.

Member states have had two years to implement the revised rules against tracking cookies. Under the new law, before being asked for their consent, users must be given information on the use of the collected data. The so-called "Cookies Directive" requires companies to obtain "explicit consent" from web users before storing cookies.

Cookies are small pieces of software that are installed on the user's computer to remember login details and other preferences relating to a particular website. But they can be used to target advertising based on browsing history. The only exception to the cookie rule is when they are necessary for a service requested by the user, for example, when a user clicks "add to basket" button to buy goods from a website.

The slow implementation of this directive highlights the difficulty of framing legislation to protect consumer privacy. What "consent" to cookies requires in practice is not defined in detail in the directive, and some counties are hoping that, in principle, a browser set to "accept cookies" implies consent.

However, even UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham acknowledges that his office's guidelines are "a work in progress." But he warned that browser settings alone may not be enough for compliance with the directive.

"The circumstances in which such settings can be considered appropriate for expressing the user's consent depends on how well they meet the general requirements in the legislation," said European Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

The European Commission, the EU's executive body, will consider opening infringement procedures against the 24 member states that have failed to transpose the directive into national law, said Todd.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *