ICO tool to report cookie miscreants

Consumers will soon be able to grass up websites which use cookies without their consent via a tool hosted on the Information Commissioner’s Office site, as pressure mounts on businesses to comply with the new rules.
The move follows predictions that it will cost UK firms up to £10bn in lost business, advertising revenue and firms relocating overseas.
David Evans, ICO group manager for business and industry, said the new tool would help the regulator ‘interrogate’ rogue sites as it prepares to enforce the so-called cookie law from May 26, following a year’s grace.
Evans said: “We will be giving individuals the chance to raise concerns with cookies being used on websites in an easy way, so they can explain what the issues are. If we see a picture building up from numerous reports that will help us interrogate these sites.
“The tool will be hosted on our website but we are still developing it at present to ensure it will suit both what individuals’ need and what we need from them, so we get the right information, but it should be up and running before the end of the month.”
The ICO is aiming to take a proactive approach to the law and implement systems which will help educate and inform web users and help others implement similar systems.
“As sites get better at informing users about cookies and what they do, it will become second nature to users to expect this information and this will help them identify sites that don’t offer similar information,” he said.
Evans also said that the ICO is not planning on immediately going after firms breaching the cookie laws from May 26, but it will take a more hard-line approach with those it investigates.
“From the end of May, if we approach an organisation after receiving complaints then any excuse of not being aware of the law will not wash,” he stressed.

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