Well, the powers that be have admitted that their new Europe-wide “Cookie Directive” (which I discussed the other day) is clearly not going to be immediately workable, and in the UK at least, the Information Commissioner has given us all a year’s grace to come up with a solution. It is, of course, no more than a tacit admission that the whole thing was going to be massively ignored anyway. The Information Commissioners Office website has “taken the lead” and put an ugly header bar at the top as an example of how to allow people to opt out of using cookies (not that most visitors will have any idea what this is all about, or care) so if you want to copy that, you should be on fairly safe ground.
The only eventual practical solution to meeting this bureaucratic imposition will probably be for browsers to have the “cookie opt-out” option built into them, which at least won’t force every website based in Europe to look stupid. But as website owners, we’ll presumably then have to build in some system of detecting the browser which a visitor is using, and only allow those which give their users the correct options. It doesn’t get any less horrible, but at least we can wait and see what happens for now.