The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has finally laid out the full details of how it plans to kill off the annoying cookie banners on web browsers. Co-conspirators will know this has been a longstanding campaign of Guido’s – a small, yet meaningful test of the UK’s regulatory sovereignty after Brexit. Switching to an “opt-out” model, rather than blasting users repeatedly with pointless pop-ups, was obviously a more elegant solution. Turns out the government agrees.
Having trailed the move in the Queen’s Speech, and now following a consultation, DCMS has explained how it plans to repeal the Cookie Law for good:
“…the government intends to legislate to remove the need for websites to display cookie banners to UK residents. In the immediate term, the government will permit cookies (and similar technologies) to be placed on a user’s device without explicit consent, for a small number of other non-intrusive purposes. These changes will apply not only to websites but connected technology, including apps on smartphones, tablets, smart TVs or other connected devices.
In the future, the government intends to move to an opt-out model of consent for cookies placed by websites. In practice, this would mean cookies could be set without seeking consent, but the website must give the web user clear information about how to opt out. This would allow the government to realise its ambition to improve the user experience and remove the need for unnecessary cookie consent banners. The opt-out model would not apply to websites likely to be accessed by children.”
The move will be put forward as part of the planned Data Reform Bill, which promises a “clampdown on bureaucracy, red tape and pointless paperwork”. The bill will also remove the need for smaller businesses to have data protection officers, and whack up fines for spam callers and nuisance texts. Finally…