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September 7, 2012

Silktide challenges UK data regulator over use of cookies

Silktide taunts ICO over use of cookies

By CBR Staff Writer

Derby-based Silktide, a web software firm has challenged the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to sue it under cookies law which requires websites to secure consent of users whether cookies are to installed on their system.

The firm has now developed a website with address ‘nocookielaw.com’, which stresses the ‘ineffective’ regulations established in May 2012 to get tough on websites which use ‘tracking’ cookies that register user information.

Silktide’s website says, "Dear ICO, sue us. Send in a team of balaclava-clad ninjas in black hawk helicopters to tickle us to death with feather dusters."

BBC quoted a spokesman as saying:"We welcome any opportunity to help us draw attention to this matter, as a key part of our work in ensuring compliance with the cookie law has been making businesses aware of the regulations."

The new rules established in May only ‘imposed’ in the UK states that all the websites in the country must collect the guests’ informed consent prior to placing cookies on to their computer systems.

According to the law, websites using ‘tracking’ cookies have to crack down, which collect information the visitor during their web browsing process.

Following the adoption to new rules, many websites implemented various design techniques to inform their users, while most of the websites used a banner or pop-up informing cookies are used.

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Silktide had also developed many tools for web developers who required confirming their falling into foul of the law, while the firm now illustrates the efforts as ‘a tragic waste of time’.

"The idea of this law is a noble one, it’s just a shame it was drafted by a team of technically illiterate octogenarians who couldn’t find a button on a mouse," the site added.

Silktide owner Oliver Emberton said that users who had tried to comply with the law were being penalised more than those who had opted to ignore it.

"People are seeing lots of extra banners, and those banners are saying we’re doing something bad," Emberton said.
"Ultimately, there are rivals of yours that are not doing that, and don’t care.

"In a lot of the cases it’s just because they’ve gone ‘yeah whatever, we’ll see what happens’. It doesn’t make any real difference."

The owner claimed that the ICO had not contacted the company about the website or it’s flouting of the rules, while ICO reported that the NoCookieLaw.com website would be passed in a review on the rules which are due to be published in November 2012.

Earlier the ICO said if people listen to the agency’s advice, and are prepared to take steps towards compliance, there shouldn’t be a problem.

"However, if businesses deliberately stop short of total compliance then there is a risk," ICO said.

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