Cookies boycott fears dismissed

Fears of a mass boycott of online cookies have proved wide of the mark, after a survey of more than 3 million people showed the vast majority are continuing to allow full access to their browsing history for advertising purposes.
Just 5 in 10,000 are choosing to only allow “required” or “functional” cookies, according to the study by data privacy management firm Trust-e.
The so-called cookie law – part of an amendment to the EU’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive – came into force on May 26 2012 following a year’s grace.
The survey found 1.47% of the sample chose to learn more about their preferences by clicking on the “Cookie Preferences” icon and going to the “About Cookies” page.
Of the visitors to the “About Cookies” page, 8.2% – about one in 12 – chose to view their cookie settings: 14.8% chose to change their settings to “functional cookies” for site analysis only; 26.8% chose to change their settings to “minimal cookies” to enable core site functionality; while 58.4% did not change their setting from the default of “advertising cookies”.
According to Trust-e, the findings show businesses can address the directive and build more consumer trust through greater transparency of their tracking without having a negative impact on their website performance.
Trust-e managing director for Europe Danilo Labovic said: “At the start of 2012 there was significant concern about the potential impact of the EU Cookie Directive on businesses if consumers opted out of cookies and abandoned websites due to a bad user experience.
“Our analysis of over 230 of the UK’s top websites found that 63% had done something to address the directive – of which 12% had implemented a robust consent management solution providing users with prominent cookie notice and robust or user-friendly controls.” These firms are not experiencing significant opt-out rates, Labovic added.
The Information Commissioner’s Office, which is charged with enforcing the cookie law in the UK, will publish a progress report in November.

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