How will Brexit change the Cookie Policy?

Over the years, EU membership has provided citizens with robust data protection laws and enabled businesses across the UK to work in a safe and secure manner. Many have been able to retain their consumer data within a virtual boundary, by choosing Cloud storage with data sovereignty. But what about the Cookie Policy?

Many of the laws that have been implemented by the EU have successfully enabled the UK to work in a better way, but there are always irritants with any set of rules – for many that comes in the form of those despised Cookie Policy pop-ups. For the last four years, EU web users have been bombarded by them and businesses have been threatened with fines if they ignore the law.

The Problem With Pop-Ups

Ironically, cookies benefit us more than they should scare us. Yes, some cookies exist just to track behaviour, but many more let us interact with web apps and customise our experience. Without these features the web would be a much drearier place.

Conversely, the EU’s stance on tracking cookies is reasonable. If you’re tracking people online, they probably want to know about it. On a high level, it sounds sensible and, as with anything, if businesses aren’t doing anything wrong with the data then there should be no issue with letting the EU and their website users know that they are collecting it.

The problem is the requirement for consent on every single website; internet users cannot consent once but instead have to consent on every site they visit, sometimes repeatedly – this is where the problem lies. The pop-up law has led to a complete jumble of implementations. Some of these render messily on mobile devices, hiding the entire site behind the wording and cause general frustration and weaken website usability.

The implementation of the Cookie Policy has not been very popular amongst many businesses. It’s been expensive to implement, and it’s often awkward to accommodate. Some have even branded it “unworkable”. But, despite Brexit, it looks like those irksome little pop-ups are here to stay.

Cookies For Brexit

Brexit will mark the end of a long, complicated and expensive legal process. The UK will have to disentangle its legal system from that of the EU. That means, in theory, that every law will need to be reviewed. Given the huge scale of that task, it’s very unlikely that will actually happen or, should it, that the Cookie Policy would be a key priority.

It’s far more likely that most EU directives will continue to be mirrored in equivalent UK legislation, simply for ease of transition. That would avoid poring over the details of every single law. If we negotiate trade agreements – another long and complex process – it would almost certainly be easier for the UK to retain the same laws as the EU for the time being. That way, we can proceed on the basis that our laws are still compatible.

Will Cookies Ever Change?

I’m not a fan of any kind of pop-ups. But like many people, I like to know what’s going on under the hood. Cookie law was badly implemented, but for now, it’s the best we’ve got.

If cookie pop-ups disappear, Brexit may not be the catalyst. It may just be that more people are bothered by cookie pop-ups than they are by the cookies themselves.

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