What does it really mean for UK developers?
Interview: Ian Barber on the EU Cookie Law
Virgin Management’s Ian Barber gave a great talk on the PHP UK
‘unconference’ track this morning, discussing the implications of
the European Union Cookie
Law for PHP devs. When the law comes into effect on May 26, any
UK website wanting to set cookies will be required to get explicit
permission from all EU users or risk investigation by the
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and a fine of up to
As far as the concrete reality of investigation and prosecution is concerned, the advantage seems to be on the side of the developers -- Ian emphasises that the ICO is very unlikely to undertake any investigation without receiving a specific complaint. While organisations such as Privacy International might try their hands at test cases, it’s also likely that they’ll pick a more favourable regulatory environment than the UK for their initial steps -- he mentions the Netherlands and Italy as possible venues.
Inevitably, the first few months of the Cookie Law are going to be a tentative game of cat-and-mouse, with developers testing the waters and attempting to shore themselves up against legal attack without really knowing how the situation will ultimately play out. It’s a brave new world out there, and until we start to see the law really being put into practice, nothing is certain.