ICO Warns Top UK Websites on Cookie Compliance: Fair Choices for Users Urged
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has raised the stakes for UK’s top websites, highlighting the need for changes in how they handle cookies to comply with data protection laws.
The ICO’s latest warning emphasizes the importance of fair choices when it comes to tracking for personalized advertising. The directive stresses that users must have equal ease in rejecting all advertising cookies as they do in accepting them. Notably, while rejecting tracking, websites can still display ads but must refrain from tailoring them based on individual browsing data.
Companies running major UK websites have been given a 30-day ultimatum to align with these regulations. Stephen Almond, ICO Executive Director of Regulatory Risk, emphasized the concerns over targeted ads using personal information without explicit consent, citing examples of distressing targeting like gambling offers to addicts, sensitive ads to individuals coping with personal loss, and invasive ads related to personal exploration.
Although many top websites follow these privacy rules, the ICO is telling other companies to adjust quickly or deal with the consequences.
💠 In the broader context, this action by the ICO signifies a step towards protecting individuals’ rights in the realm of online advertising. The upcoming update in January will shed light on companies that have not complied with these directives.