Data watchdog acts on cookies
Data protection watchdogs have written to some of the biggest websites in the country, giving them 21 days to provide information on how the steps they have taken to meet recently introduced cookie legislation.
Up to 80 websites are being targeted as part of the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner’s attempt to clarify compliance with the regulations, which were implemented in July 2011.
The regulations state that websites must provide information and capture consent for the use or access of cookies or other information when users visit the site. However, the rate of compliance from Iris websites has been low compared with other jurisdictions, such as the UK.
The list ranges from Government sites and State agencies to retailers and media companies. Among the names are the Department of Finance, the Dublin Airport Authority, deals site Groupon and Bank of Ireland. Media companies including the Irish Examiner, the Irish Times and the Journal.ie have also been contacted by the DPC.
Deputy commissioner Gary Davis said the office was “disappointed” with the level of response from Irish websites.
"This law does not break the internet as was suggested in some parts, it simply educates users to make informed choices," he said. "Levels of compliance would appear to be very low compared to the UK for instance and we cannot allow that situation to continue."
The listed sites must provide information on how they have approached fulfilling their legal obligations within 21 days or risk facing enforcement action. However, Mr Davis said he does not anticipate that it will be necessary to take further action, as "compliance is straightforward for most websites".