Data Reform Bill to Finally End Cookie Pop-Ups and Fine Spam Callers

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…

mdi-timer 17 June 2022 @ 10:00 17 Jun 2022 @ 10:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rap Battle: Andrew Neil Versus Nadine

Who won? You decide…

mdi-timer 29 May 2022 @ 20:09 29 May 2022 @ 20:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nadine’s Online Safety Bill Rap

Guido was unsure whether DCMS would be able to provide an tangible example of content that is “legal but harmful” before the passage of their Online Safety Bill.

“Is it true it will impact freedom of expression?
No we’ve put in legal protections in the 19th section”

Now we have our answer…

Guido reckons this rap isn’t even Nadine’s best TikTok content…

mdi-timer 27 May 2022 @ 16:31 27 May 2022 @ 16:31 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nadine Announces Review into BBC Impartiality and Standards

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has confirmed it’s launching a “Mid-Term Review” of the BBC to assess whether the broadcaster needs reforming to “achieve greater impartiality” and hire more people from working class backgrounds. The review will take place at some point before 2024, and will analyse “the effectiveness of the BBC’s governance mechanisms… in ensuring compliance with its editorial standards including impartiality requirements”. Given how often their highest-paid stars flout those requirements, there’s plenty of work to be done…

Announcing the move this morning, Nadine Dorries says:

“The BBC is a world-class broadcaster but one which has to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape just like all broadcasters are. The Government is committed to ensuring the BBC is more impartial, more accessible and more reflective of our country’s variety of viewpoints. This review will build on our recent progress to make the BBC more accountable to those who fund it, level up people’s access to the job opportunities it offers and ensure it continues to work in the best interest of the public.”

There is also a review of the licence fee coming down the track “soon”…

mdi-timer 26 May 2022 @ 11:09 26 May 2022 @ 11:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nadine: “It Is Impossible For a Trans Woman to Compete in Women’s Sport”

No-nonsense Nadine gave the definitive answer to the never-ending trans row on GB News last night, telling Dan Wootton in no uncertain terms, “it is impossible for a trans woman to compete in women’s sport.”

“You can choose your gender and we will support you and help you to do that, we will give you all the love and compassion and support you need to get to that place, but you can’t change your biology, you can’t change that you were born male or you were born female. It is what it is.

And I’m afraid even with those athletes that try to get their testosterone levels below.. it isn’t the case that if somebody’s been through puberty and they develop through puberty that it’ll make a significant difference.”

Thankfully she says she doesn’t want to have to make a new law, which she hates doing, and would prefer sporting bodies to come together with a joint agreement…

mdi-timer 22 April 2022 @ 10:25 22 Apr 2022 @ 10:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nadine Dorries’ Anti Social Media “Pile On” Announcement Backfires

Nadine Dorries was up at the despatch box yesterday to outline the provisions of the Online Safety Bill during its second reading. One particular moment caught Guido’s attention:

“[The bill] seeks to force the largest social media platforms to enforce their own bans on racism, misogyny, antisemitism, pile-ons and all sorts of other unacceptable behaviour that they claim not to allow but that ruins life in practice. In other words, we are just asking the largest platforms to simply do what they say they will do, as we do in all good consumer protection measures in any other industry.”

What exactly does forcing a social media company to stop a “pile-on” look like? What defines a pile-on? Any answers to these questions inevitably run the risk of hindering free speech. When Guido asked these questions on Twitter last night, Nadine herself responded…

“By holding tech companies to account to comply with their own stated terms and conditions… We will also list in secondary legislation legal but harmful online activity, such as incitement to self harm, harassment, eating disorders, bullying, racist hate. Not limiting free speech or political /public interest debate but the serious most harmful activity.”

Nadine’s tweet ended up receiving 172 replies, most of them hostile. Some might even call it a pile-on. Under the new legislation, would she expect Twitter to wade in on her behalf?

It’s easy to envision a future government using this law to enforce dangerous woke language policing. This is a slippery slope…

mdi-timer 20 April 2022 @ 11:28 20 Apr 2022 @ 11:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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