What to do with cookies in the EU?

26.8.2012    Vendula Peřinová   

You've probably heard about the news that the EU came up with. Or haven't you? The EU’s e-Privacy Directive is based on the fact that every user has to be notified of using cookies and mapping his or her activity.

Don't worry; you are probably not the only one. We were also surprised. The great paradox is not only that we were told this information by one of our British clients but also companies specialising in online did not know about the directive. And we have to admit that we aren’t any information barbarians. This was the moment to find out more about it.

lexus.fr - cookie v praxi
www.lexus.fr - cookies notification in practise

Daniel Dočekal is one of the people who inform the public about the EU’s laws and bills so there is no need to say the whole story again. So only in a nutshell: in terms of privacy protection, the EU introduced a mechanism based on the opt-in principle. It means that user has to agree on that cookies will be saved in his or her PC, but that is not valid for those cookies used for necessary functions. The EU directive was enacted in May 2011 but the legal force of the directive was postponed till 2012. The purpose of the delay was defined as the preparation time for new rules. So since May 25th 2012 we all have probably been violating the new EU rules. Or not?

Hardly anybody knows how the directive is interpreted in the EU countries. One of the most responsible countries which took the directive consistently is the UK where in case of breaking the directive one can get the penalty up to £500,000. Therefore, the web is full of instructions and links to simple plug-ins pleading users for acceptance.

Other countries taking the directive quite seriously are Latvia and Lithuania, nevertheless, the number of websites implementing the EU directive is only fractional.

Obviously, our main interest has been to find out how and if the directive is implemented in the Czech Republic, a place where we create and run most of our projects. Confusing information led us to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic. And what have we found out? You will find the answers in a new edition of Marketing&Media magazine, in the Digital supplement, or in our new article.