The IAB in Sweden (the trade association for the digital and interactive marketing industry) have, this month, released a set of new recommendations on how website cookies should be used. These place the emphasis on the website visitor’s browser setting to determine whether cookie will be used, and move away from the website banners that have been previously promoted as a solution.
These recommendations are a response to the Electronic Communications Act (Sweden), which is itself a response to the EU directive concerning on-line privacy. This directive requires consent from a website visitor before cookies are placed on their computer; but – as I’ve posted previously – this breaks many important tools for ensuring a good visitor experience. Not least, it directly impacts the use of Google Analytics.
The IAB guidelines say the following:
– Cookie use, and type, should be clearly identified on the site
– Clear information should be given about what cookies do and their purpose
The awesomeness (but also what I expect will be the controversial element):
– If a user’s browser is set to accept cookies this means they have granted consent for cookies to be used (if the website clearly identifies which cookies are being used)
– If a user’s browser rejects cookies, then this must be respected
They promote the use of a standardised badge, to help users find out what cookies are used and make their own choice.
I need cookies to do my job – that is, to make the user experience better; these recommendations seem like a sensible solution for everyone. Unfortunately, I doubt that the EU will entirely agree – particularly given the apparent disagreement between EU ministers on how this directive should be enforced.
(You can see this slow car crash unfolding by checking out all my posts on the cookie directive).
What do you think? Will this work – is this an alternative to the opt-in banners which seem to be popping up?