I’ve spent all of today and a good part of last Friday researching and carrying out work in order to comply with quite simply the most ridiculous piece of legislation I have ever had the misfortune of being unable to avoid.
It is a prize example of people making laws who have absolutely no expertise in the area over which they legislate, and who act either out of complete ignorance or malicious intent to do great economic damage to a sector they fear or over which they have little control.
It originates from EU Directive 2009/136/E – an EU Directive means all 27 members states are compelled to implement a law (although it is up to the individual state how this is done). In the case of the UK, this has fallen under the remit of the ICO (the Information Commissioner’s Office).
It has probably already cost the economies of countries in the EU millions of pounds to implement – that is those countries who have bothered to implement it.
It has still not been applied to the vast majority of EU websites, despite any risk of associated fines and it being well over a year since the original deadline was imposed.
I’m not even so much angry for my sake (I’ll get paid for the time it takes). I’m sorry for the poor, independent Web developer, who manages potentially hundreds of separate sites, all with different cookie usage and all of which require a lot of retro-fitting to comply with this bizarre, ill-conceived law; and for his/her small business customers, all of whom will have to pay for this work.
There are three glaringly obvious reasons why this is a stupid law:
- It doesn’t tackle the main organisations responsible for some people’s concerns over privacy issues (i.e. the likes of Facebook and Google).
- It doesn’t affect any website run from a company outside the EU, so it effectively penalises EU based companies.
- All browsers have an option which allows a user to block all cookies. Making website owners responsible for how an owner does or doesn’t use a browser is akin to making car manufacturers responsible for whether or not you lock your car.
Look, I’m so peeved about wasting my time implementing poorly thought-out dictates from tossers in Belgium, that I’m going to let someone else do my ranting for me…