The Cookie Monster Is Dying

OK. Not that lovable character. Something far less lovable has to die. You know what I’m talking about. Those cookie bars and popups which prompt you to allow a website to store cookies on your computer. It’s time for them to die, and I’ve got some of the details of what will replace them below.

Cookie Popups

Introduced as part of the e-Privacy Directive in 2009, these bars have been an eyesore ever since. More importantly, they do nothing but detract from a users browsing experience. That’s something I can’t support, and I haven’t really pressed my clients to implement them. I chose instead to let the client decide how important their compliance was.

Luckily, the legislation around these cookie bars and popups is changing. The good news is that we won’t have to put these prompts anywhere. The bad news is that it doesn’t mean it’s open season for cookies.

Rather than relying on a user to opt-in to cookie usage on a site by site basis, the proposed changes as described here on Politico will allow the user to set their privacy preferences in their browser. Our job as marketers and site owners will be to check in with the browser and serve appropriate content. You’ll only have to check this when you’re serving personalised ads, so most retailers will be fine. If you serve any personalised ads on your site, though, you’ll have to make a check with the users browser first. Failure to comply could result in fines up to €10m – although I doubt very much that we’ll see many of those fines.

This change isn’t going to happen any time soon, however, as the text isn’t due until May 2018. That will give plenty of time to look into the potential actions and repercussions involved for site owners. I’ll give more in depth details right here when that time comes.