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Anti-EU cookie law protest site launched

Software company Silktide has launched No Cookie Law, a website protesting a new EU law that will make the use of cookies illegal if a site doesn't ask for permission before using them.

According to Silktide MD Oliver Emberton, the law will render “social buttons, analytics and discussion systems like Disqus impossible to use without interrupting the user with a pop-up or slide-out banner,” and he told .net that non-EU rivals “have no such restriction, and so good luck competing with them”.

Such a statement might seem dramatic, but Emberton said you have to bear in mind what typical internet users will see: “Imagine every supermarket had to ask customers to sign a waiver to enter their store, granting permission to monitor them and track their purchases. We'd expect people to walk out, and even those who comply will be annoyed. Now imagine only some supermarkets have that restriction. That's this law in a nutshell.”

In an attempt to combat the changes, No Cookie Law was launched. “We're a small software company and our customers are mostly web designers, and the law is a nightmare for all of us. While plenty of people have objected to the law, we've yet to see any kind of coordinated protest. So we decided to start one,” explained Emberton.

Although the law clearly impacts on clients and users, Emberton noted that developers will also be affected: “You might get a rush of new work, but it’ll mostly be to make websites worse.” He added that only a month from the law coming into effect, a KPMG study said 95 per cent of UK sites are not compliant, and that could lead to clients blaming agencies and developers for not making them aware of the changes in law.

There’s a sense of inevitability about the legislation, but No Cookie Law is worth checking out, as Emberton told us: “We've started a petition and more. No-one can stop the law by themselves, but if we work together, we can make it enormously unpopular – and that's a step towards changing it.”

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