Will Brexit bring an end to cookie notifications?

In: General |
28/07/16 |

Since May 2012 all websites have been required to notify visitors about their use of cookies – the small data files downloaded by our web browsers to record website browsing history.

These notifications became compulsory, following changes in EU data protection law which stated that all EU citizens have to be able to give consent to the sharing of their data.

In the early weeks and months following the rule changes, website visitors were subjected to un-ignorable pop ups which required a tick of consent before they could carry on browsing the website. Over time, this tactic has died down in favour of the less intrusive boxes at the top or bottom of the page which we commonly see on websites today – we also see a lot of smaller businesses opting to state their use of cookies on a terms and conditions page; however, in the wake of the recent EU referendum result, people are asking questions about what will happen to the cookie law when Britain leaves the EU.

It’s probably fair to say that with the mountains of paperwork and decisions the government will be making over the coming years leading up to our exit from the EU, that the cookie law will not be a top priority; although there are a couple of factors that suggests that the current cookie notifications will remain.

The UK’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations are in the most part mirrored from the EU data laws, and now the rules requiring cookie notifications have been written into the UK’s domestic law, meaning it’s highly unlikely that our exit from the EU will mean the end of cookie notifications. Furthermore, a spokesperson from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently stated “the UK will continue to need clear and effective data protection laws, whether or not the country remains part of the EU”.

We can’t be certain as to what exactly will happen to the cookie law when the UK leaves the EU, but as it stands, the majority of information points towards cookie notifications being here to stay, for the foreseeable future.