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Cookies - Implied consent is ok, according to new ICO guidance

1 June 2012

Revised guidance from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) suggests that implied consent of website users to cookie use may be reasonable in the context of storage of, or access to, information, at least where non-sensitive personal data is concerned, but only where it is ‘specific and informed’ and there is some action on the part of the website user from which consent can be inferred.

Whilst this news, which is a change from the guidance previously published by the ICO, will be welcomed by many UK website operators, this approach differs from the majority of data protection regulators in other EU member states. Therefore placing cookies on the equipment of non-UK EU citizens may still cause operators difficulty.

UK operators will be watching carefully to see whether other member states adopt the same position as the ICO, or whether they may risk non-UK regulators seeking to enforce differing national laws against them.

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