The Secure Times

An online forum of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law's Privacy and Information Security Committee

EU Council Approves Law Regulating Cookies

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The Council of the European Union approved a Directive that would require online entities to obtain web users’ consent before using Internet cookies.  The Directive is technology neutral and focuses on the storage/access to information on web users’ equipment.  It would require subscriber/user consent in response to being provided clear and comprehensive information before using cookies, except when storage/access to a user’s device is "strictly necessary" to provide the service requested by the user.  The Directive would amend the existing EU telecom law that permits the use of cookies upon notice to web users and the opportunity to opt out, and would go into effect within the next 18 months.
 
The Directive could have a significant impact on the online advertising industry, which commonly uses cookies for ad serving, and may also impact the use of cookies for web analytics.  Various consent mechanisms, including the option of obtaining consent via the settings on a user’s web browser, may satisfy the requirements.
 
An article about the Directive is available hereCommenters have raised serious concerns about the application of these provisions of the Directive.
 
A full copy of the Directive is available here.
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Author: ABA Antitrust

Learn more about the ABA Section of Antitrust Law: http://ambar.org/antitrust

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