EU Cookie Crumbles: Post-Brexit Deregulation Imminent

Last year, Guido set an important test for the Brexit-EU trade deal on regulatory sovereignty: would it allow the UK to repeal the EU’s stupid directive forcing websites to put up those annoying “Accept Cookies” banners? It seems trivial, yet this small annoyance is indicative of the hundreds of thousands of trivial and anti-business regulations that have unaccountably poured out from Brussels for decades, rubber-stamped by a servile parliament. If we can repeal the Cookie Law, Guido argued, that will indicate a far deeper sovereignty that allows us to do so much more. Six months later, it looks like the cookie button is finally about to crumble…

Buried deep in a new report published by the Taskforce for Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform – the group investigating how the UK can capitalise on its new regulatory freedoms post-Brexit – is a paragraph explaining why the ‘Accept Cookies’ request is a waste of time: 

“Both behavioural science and common sense tell you that putting a ‘tick to accept’ box in front of someone at the point they want to access a website or service does not generate genuine informed consent, it just means people are likely to tick ‘accept’ without thinking…a good measure of whether reform is successful will be the end of pointless cookie banners.

Finally, after five years of wrangling, the real Brexit victory is now imminent. Guido sends his warmest congratulations to the Taskforce leaders Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Theresa Villiers, and George Freeman, who should all be immortalised for their heroism if and when the pointless “Accept Cookies” buttons finally disappear. Guido has long-argued that you can and should set your privacy preferences at browser level, once, not on every site, every time. Boris says Downing Street will “publish a response [to the report] as soon as is practicable”. Guido waits with bated breath for the Prime Minister to fulfil his patriotic duty and show, by banishing the cookie, that Brexit really was worth it…

mdi-tag-outline EU
mdi-account-multiple-outline George Freeman Iain Duncan Smith Theresa Villiers
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