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Data Protection Commissioner commences action on "cookie" law

The Commissioner has sent letters to 80 websites requesting information on how they have met their obligations under the law since July 2011.

Image: Michael H Reed via Shutterstock

THE DATA PROTECTION Commissioner has this week written to some 80 websites seeking information on the steps they have taken to meet their “cookie” obligations.

The obligation to provide information and capture consent for dropping or accessing cookies or other information on a user’s computer took effect in July 2011.

Speaking today, Deputy Commissioner Gary Davis said “this law does not break the internet as was suggested in some parts, it simply educates users to make informed choices”.

“This is a legal requirement now for 18 months and we are disappointed with the response of websites,” he said. “Levels of compliance would appear to be very low compared to the UK for instance and we cannot allow that situation to continue.”

“At a minimum this will begin to educate users as to the scale and type of data collection taking place and then better position users to take informed choices as to what cookies they wish to allow or block.”

The 80 websites targeted have 21 days to outline their approach and Davis said the commissioner will be obliged to take enforcement action where websites fail to engage and meet their legal obligations.

“However, we expect that this will not be necessary as compliance is straightforward for most websites”, he said.

The full list of 80 sites can be found here, and if you look closely you might spot a familiar name.

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