Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.

New EU Cookie Law Smacks Of Windows Vista's Constant Nagging

Regulators in Europe have approved a new law that would require users to approve each cookie stored by their Web browser. Cookies are little informative tags that tell a Web site details about your last visit there.

EU Council
The EU Council chambers in preparation for a meeting in October, courtesy of the EU Council.

The law contains a caveat for cookies that are "strictly necessary," referring to those that help a user maintain an online shopping cart, for example. But all other cookies will prompt a barrage of pop-up approval dialogues, perhaps reminding users of the over-active super-ego of Windows Vista. Microsoft's new version of Windows aims to ameliorate the barrage of approval requests.

Windows Vista pop-ups

The law could also bruise online advertisers, whose ad modules collect click-counts and other analytical data that help to determine pricing. The Wall Street Journal suggests that the impracticality of the cookie law went unnoticed because of a "bigger argument" about a new "three strikes" law being considered by the EU Council. That law would allow authorities to punish peer-to-peer piracy by cutting off a user's Internet access.

Add New Comment