In 2010, when I first wrote about new Cookie Laws here, my opinion was (and still remains) that the cookie law Directive are “ambiguous in definition, ineffective against sites set on tracking visitors, harm usability in implementation and will put European websites at a distinct disadvantage,” to quote myself.

Three years on and the ICO (the government body behind the “Cookie Law”) have given in to the weight of public and professional opinion on the EU Cookie Directive and have softened their stance once again.

As with all legal matters, the complexities are still present, but the consensus interpretation is that “implied consent” is now a perfectly valid way of complying with the Directive.

What is Implied Consent?

Implied Consent is acknowledging that use of your website is seen as automatic acceptance of the cookies that your website creates.

If your website makes it clear which cookies you use, typically in a Privacy Policy, then you are providing enough information for a visitor to be able to gain an informed opinion – and therefore give you “implied consent” when choosing to use your website.

What does this mean for me?

Just make sure your Privacy Policy clearly mentions which cookies your website uses, and that’s it.

Will this mean we’ll see less websites asking for permission to use cookies?

Yes, that’s exactly what it means.  Whilst some huge websites never went that far (,, many major brands did.  Expect to see the annoying boxes and bars dropping like flies in the next few weeks…

Useful Resources: