European privacy laws come into force on May 26th which give people like you and me, more control over what data websites gather on us. In effect, this means that websites will have to tell the user what information is being collected. Over the past 18 months, the US Congress was also looking into the issue of how cookies were being used by Websites.
On February 11th, 2011 the US Congress passed a bill (Do-Not-Track-Me-Online Act) that would require online-tracking firms to allow citizens to opt out of tracking (see my Firefox and IE9 posts to find out more about cookie control). If they didn’t conform they would face heavy fines. Both the European and US have been focussing on how website cookies are being used – hence the introduction of these new laws although they are very different approaches. That said both are welcomed by me.
European websites will have to police their own cookies but what about third-party cookies from advertisers? This will be more problematic to regulate under the European privacy law. The EU Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) wants an “icon” or “logo” on adverts that when clicked shows the data that is being transmitted. Will users look or care about this icon? probably not. 🙁
So how do you protect your cookies (including evercookies) when surfing the Web? With or without the laws above, you can with these FREE programs still easily manage your profile and have total cookie control. Cookie munsters to the ready! 🙂
Safe surfing folks!