Websites opting for only minimal cookie warnings

Channel News

63 percent of UK sites have privacy notices in place, but stronger warnings needed

More and more businesses are following rules to implement privacy notices over website cookie controls, though are taking only minimal steps to alert visitors.

With advice from UK enforcement body the Information Commissioner’s Office labelled misleading by some companies, uptake of onsite privacy notices was slow at first.

According to a survey from data privacy management firm TRUSTe, 63 percent of top UK websites have now taken steps to enforce the EU Cookie Directive which took effect this year.

However, while 12 percent had implemented prominent privacy notices with “robust” cookie controls, the majority, 51 percent, had made only minimal effort to meet compliance as part of the EU Directive.   37 percent had taken no steps at all, and one website owner told ChannelBiz UK that they were still “were not even aware” that cookie rules were now in place.   Others have been willfully dragging their heels.

Of the 231 websites surveyed, the ones which had not made any moves to comply with the cookie rules, 49 percent had a low number of third party cookies up to 25, 35 percent had moderate level, between 25 and 30, while 16 percent had more than 50.

The survey also found that, of all the sites with moderate to high cookies, only 17 percent had put in place strong measures to alert visitors of their presence.

However Chris Babel, CEO TRUSTe, says that rules to meet cookie compliance are now being taken more seriously.

“Based on our analysis it is clear that many companies have started to take the EU Cookie Directive seriously and devoted time and resources to implement a compliance solution that helps their users control the tracking activity on their site,” Chris Babel, CEO TRUSTe said.

“At the same time it is clear that some companies have yet to put a compliance solution in place. We at TRUSTe, alongside the industry bodies and regulators, will continue to work with companies to help them implement solutions appropriate to their business model.”