ICC UK Cookies Guide

ICC UK will today hold a high-level meeting—bringing together industry, government and other stakeholders—looking at how business can comply with the EU’s e-Privacy Directive. The session will provide an important opportunity to discuss progress in the development of ICC UK’s Cookie Guide.

The view we’ve taken on the issues raised by the e-Privacy Directive—which requires web site operators to ask web site users’ permission to place cookies on their devices for the first time—is that education has to be at the heart of any compliance solution.

Since May 2011, we have been working with experts from our member companies to develop a guide to help website operators obtain consent for the use of cookies in an open and transparent way. To do this, the draft guidance sets out four categories of cookies that are linked to suggested user notices explaining what those cookies do. The idea is that if websites adopt common (or at least similar) language it will make it easier for consumers to understand why operators want to use cookies as they move from site to site.

It’s worth pointing out that the ICC UK Guide will not be prescriptive and, moreover, is designed to be adapted and used in all manner of solutions. Some advertisers, for instance, are already using icons which are intended to seek consent for the use of cookies. Our guidance should sit alongside these, and indeed other technical initiatives, as part of what some people have termed an “ecology of solutions”.

Our group of experts has been working on the guidance carefully to produce something that meets the requirements of the Directive, whilst not disrupting the online environment for both consumers and business. As a result, our Guide has been through several iterations and has been shared widely with interested companies to ensure this balance is struck effectively.

The meeting today is part of a wider process of consultation with industry that should give businesses a chance to discuss how the guide is coming together, and how to make best use of it going forward. For more information on this work please contact Mike Bond via mbond@international-chamber.co.uk