Government Plans To Scrap Cookie Consent

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The UK government wants to end cookie consent pop-ups, stating that they are a nuisance, and wanting an ‘opt out’ approach, rather than the current ‘opt in’ approach.

What Are Cookies?

Cookies are small files of data created on your device when you visit a new website. Cookies store information about your browsing habits. Cookies are used to link a user’s activities across websites online, helping advertisers and website owners to build a detailed profile on the user.

What’s Wrong With Cookies?

Although some cookies are ‘functional’ – meaning they allow the website that you are browsing to work, others are used by advertisers to track your browsing behaviour which leads to privacy concerns. Here’s how to view the cookies used on websites.

New data reforms proposed by the government will heavily reduce the number of banners that appear on websites asking people to consent to cookies. The plans are part of a broader package of reforms from the U.K. seeking to diverge from EU data protection rules.

Scraping Cookie Consent

Back in 2018, GDPR law came into effect which stated that websites have to show a cookie consent bar, which tells users that cookies are used on websites, which users then have to accept or reject. However, this quickly led to users feeling like they were being bombarded with cookie consent bars. To tackle this, the UK government is switching to a plan that allows users to opt out of cookie collection, hopefully resulting in less intrusive boxes appearing on websites online.

The Good & The Bad

Although this change would positively affect users, there are worries that it could result in threatening the EU’s decision to allow free flow of personal data to the UK. It would mean that cookies could be set without seeking consent from a user, but the website would need to give clear information on how the user can opt out if they desire.

What’s more, removing cookie consent boxes could also result in it being easier for advertisers to spy on web users and threaten online privacy.

Although there has not yet been a definite decision on the use of opt out for cookies, we are keeping a close eye on the news for updates and will return to this blog with further news.

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Rebecca helps to keep the team organised and supports all of our clients with day to day activities and content. She also runs all of Ballyhoo's internal marketing.