Members of the European Parliament have voted this week to adopt an
amendment to the draft directive on electronic data collection and
privacy to restrict the use of "cookies" - data tags on PCs that hold
user information on specific websites. The decision could have a
severely detrimental effect on European e-commerce.
The restrictions proposed would mean that users would have to give
"opt in". The rule has been likened to asking people to fill in a form
every time they enter a shop.
The Internet Advertising Bureau will now be relying on the European
Commission and on national experts in the Council Working Group to
overturn this amendment before the draft directive goes before the
European Parliament for a second reading.
"Cookies" are also a user-friendly internet tool used by the content,
media, advertising and e-commerce industry to authenticate users and
speed-up and simplify use of the internet.
Alan McCulloch, the chairman of the IPA Digital Marketing Group, said:
"We are disappointed that the DTI, in particular Douglas Alexander, the
minister for e-commerce and competitiveness, has failed to influence
this legislation and has failed to protect UK business."
- Spotlight, p15.