Dutch U-turn on cookie laws: ‘win for common sense’, says ISBA

19 February 2013
ISBA hails gentler online cookie policy as liberator of digital economy.

ISBA – the voice of British advertisers – welcomes the move by Dutch officials to drop prior consent plans for strict online cookie collection, falling in line with the UK and much of Europe. The bureaucratic rules were abandoned following a campaign by the World Federation of Advertisers, in which 'consumer unfriendliness' was highlighted as a primary concern.

The U-turn reflects growing sentiment in Europe about the impractical and stifling side effects of excessive data protection regimes, and comes at a time when the European Commission is working on developing an EU-wide data protection infrastructure, which could have similarly damaging consequences – a warning voiced by a chorus of industry bodies, including ISBA.

Ian Twinn, ISBA’s Public Affairs Director, said:

“Making web users know their data is safe and secure online is an important part of society’s growing interaction with the digital world, but over-regulation of the internet has its costs.

“These over strict interpretations of the law would have resulted in the persistent badgering of internet users for explicit permission to accept cookies, discouraging a thriving online consumer culture which is responsible for our burgeoning digital economy.

Twinn reiterated the importance of working with European partners to ensure that the right balance of security and prosperity was struck in ongoing talks with the Commission.


Notes for editors

The implementation of different Cookie collection standards around Europe rests on the severity of interpretation of the EU ePrivacy Directive. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office had initially intended to extend similarly strict permission requirements for online Cookies, but softened its stance substantially after failing to generate realistic levels of compliance from websites.

ISBA provides an up-to-date Cookie guide here.

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