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10 from 11: The legal profession shows the internet who’s boss

Next up in my look back at the 10 most-read articles of 2011 is Here comes the EU Cookie Monster from last May. Sadly, this one is even more relevant now than it was then, because this potentially disruptive piece of (in my opinion, unnecessary) legislation known as the “EU cookie law” is here. We’re only six months away from it being enforced by legal specialists and the Department Of Making Business Harder For European Companies, who are probably already rubbing their hands together in anticipation of writing lots of expensive letters. The new law, which is already in force, requires website owners to get the explicit consent of visitors to install and run “cookies” …and that almost certainly affects you. I’m sure it’s all been drawn up with the best of intentions to do with privacy online, but if it’s taken to its extreme, the most likely outcome I can see is that companies spend time and money modifying their websites, the public gets really irritated with how difficult it makes the web to use, and the law gets changed back again by popular demand, rendering the whole thing a huge waste of resources. Meanwhile, companies based outside Europe will once again be laughing at us and making the most of the situation.

For the latest update, I’d direct you not to my article, but to this update on, as well as this terrific site called The Cookie Collective, which has a lot more information.

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