Share

Charities express concerns over cookie compliance

Charities express concerns over cookie compliance
News

Charities express concerns over cookie compliance

IT | Kirsty Weakley | 25 May 2012

From tomorrow (26 May 2012) the Information Commissioner’s Office will enforce the law requiring all websites to inform users and obtain consent of cookies being placed on devices.

The Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive was introduced by the UK government on 26 May 2011, with organisations being given a one-year grace period before any enforcement of the law would begin. The ICO could now impose fines of up to £500,000 in the most serious cases, but will first issue organisations with warnings. 

The sort of solutions organisations chose to implement depends on the type of cookies it uses and the complexity of the website.

Charities such as the Great Ormond Street Hospital, have now posted a banner to tell users there are cookies on the site directing them to a link to disable them.GOSH






Other organisations, however, are waiting to see how others implement changes and for further guidance from the ICO. Barnardo’s told civilsociety.co.uk that this is what it is doing.  Bob Darby, director of information services at the charity, said:

“Our approach is based on a detailed risk assessment that takes into account all factors including the loss of income that would result from pursuing full compliance."

He added that the charity was keeping the issue “under review” and would make necessary changes if internet browsers were upgraded to include consent functionality or if an industry standard emerges.

According to a recent survey of 2,000 people by the Internet Advisory Bureau UK, 90 per cent of the public want control of their privacy. However, only 37 per cent understood what cookies where, with 36 per cent being unaware of them and 28 per cent misunderstanding them.

The ICO has also today published guidance for the public, explaining what cookies are and how they can delete them as well as a link that people can use to report websites not complying with the law.

Concerns about the impact of the changes

Charities have raised concerns about the potential impact after the changes to websites have been implemented.

Action Aid UK is currently deciding how it will comply with the legislation and a spokeswoman told civilsociety.co.uk that: “We are obviously concerned about the impact this is going to have on the use of non-intrusive analytics (the standard use of Google analytics for example) and the user experience.”

She added: “We would be very worried if we were forced to request consent for all types of cookie because of the impact this will have on our fundraising and campaigning.”

Under the legislation, websites that use cookies that are live for just one session, need not receive consent.

The RNIB has raised concerns that the implementation of solutions may make websites inaccessible to the blind and partially sited people.

Kelly Harrison, web and digital development manager at RNIB said: “If not implemented correctly, this law could make the internet a more difficult place for blind and partially sighted people to get around. Organisations may be able to comply with this law, but find themselves breaking the Equality Act."

The ICO warns that all organisations with a website "must be on the path to compliance". Dave Evans, from the ICO said: "This means that UK websites must provide visitors with sufficient information to make a decision on whether they are happy for a cookie to be placed on their device and obtain consent before placing a cookie.”

 

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Tags

Free eNews

New buying group formed to support growth of social care charities

1 Oct 2014

A new membership group was launched today to support the growth of health and social care charities and...

Crime Reduction Initiatives doubles income in five years

30 Sep 2014

Crime Reduction Initiatives (CRI) has reported income last year of £116.8m, its highest-ever revenue...

Work Programme architect is new director of Office for Civil Society

30 Sep 2014

Helen Stephenson is leaving her post as director of the Office for Civil Society and being replaced by...

IoF calls for annual income cap on society lotteries to be raised from £10m to £100m

1 Oct 2014

The Institute of Fundraising is calling for the annual income cap on society lotteries to be increased...

GOSH Children's Charity to resume telephone fundraising with NTT

30 Sep 2014

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity has said it will resume telephone fundraising with NTT...

Help the Hospices rebrands as Hospice UK

29 Sep 2014

Help the Hospices has rebranded to become Hospice UK to better reflect the “breadth, dynamism and flexibility”...

Ipso would have investigated Mirror over Newmark sex text story regardless of complaint

1 Oct 2014

The chair of the new press regulator has said that the Sunday Mirror story which forced Brooks Newmark...

New buying group formed to support growth of social care charities

1 Oct 2014

A new membership group was launched today to support the growth of health and social care charities and...

Work Programme architect is new director of Office for Civil Society

30 Sep 2014

Helen Stephenson is leaving her post as director of the Office for Civil Society and being replaced by...

Join the discussion

Twitter button

@CivilSocietyIT