Have Your Say – EU Referendum: David Thomas and the EU Cookie Directive

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In the Market Place recently, I met David Thomas who is a very articulate supporter of “Remain” who, when I engaged in discussion of the plethora of EU directives, asked me which directives I would wish to remove.  I concluded that the most damaging directive that I am competent to judge is the so called “Cookie directive 2009/136/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council“.  This requires every website based in the EU to display an irritating message to inform the user that the website uses “Cookies”. Not only that, but what “Cookies” are used and what they are used for in a “policy statement”. Well intentioned, but with unintended consequences. If you are a much used website like bbc.co.uk. then you have an army of staff costing loads of money and when I look at their cookie policy it is clear that meeting this directive has been expensive. On the other hand, if you are a local community website relying on volunteers, it is a waste of time for absolutely no benefit to anyone. All it needed was a public information statement about the way cookies are used, mostly beneficial, but warning users of the potential risks.

Internet users are irritated by these pop-ups. How much carbon dioxide creating electrical energy  was used in sending the pop-up? How much time do we waste deleting them?

Now. I do not know how many websites are EU based but I believe it to be millions. How much does it cost to ensure that each website meets the EU Directive? I can only suggest many hundreds of pounds for each website. And of course, US and other non-EU based web sites do not have to comply, placing EU websites at a competitive disadvantage.

I have not had the opportunity to discuss this with David Thomas. I am told that he has been on holiday. Perhaps he will use the columns of the Henley Herald to explain how the EU  “Cookie” policy enriches our lives.

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