Can Of Code

The Cookie Monster

I’m sure you have heard of the new EU directive that dictates that all website that wish to use cookies must inform the user. If you haven’t, here is an article from the BBC explaining the situation.



Source: Glenn Fleishman


My first reaction to seeing banners and messages on websites warning me of their cookie based intentions was that of madness. However after spending some time reading the Directive (DIRECTIVE 2009/136/E), I realised that it’s rather a sensible idea.

No 66 of the Directive clearly states:

“…It is therefore of paramount importance that users be provided with clear and comprehensive information when engaging in any activity which could result in such storage or gaining of access.”

All that states is that the user should be made aware when you plan on using cookies. This is good to avoid the evil usage of cookies but cookies are vital for functionality such as logins.

The directive covers this by later stating:

“…Exceptions to the obligation to provide information and offer the right to refuse should be limited to those situations where the technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user.”

I’m no Law expert but what I understand that to say is that if the cookies are necessary to provide functionality the user requests, i.e. a member’s area then your exempt from providing warning. Not so bad after all.

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