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EU Privacy

Google Breathes New Life Into EU's Cookie Law 48

Posted by timothy
from the everyone-must-eat-one-cookie-daily dept.
First time accepted submitter Trajan Przybylski writes "Google has just implemented new changes to its search pages in order to comply with the EU's Cookie Law, which aims to improve user privacy. Google is now showing a conspicuous banner with information about its use of cookies to all EU visitors accessing the site. This is despite the legislation attracting strong words of criticism from web developers, who believe the regulation to be harmful to the economy while offering no real improvement to online privacy and security problems. Google's move comes only 3 months after online activists announced the Cookie Law to be "dead" and is likely to reignite the heated debate about the controversial legislation."
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Google Breathes New Life Into EU's Cookie Law

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 18, 2013 @07:59AM (#43481555)

    Personal privacy ALWAYS trumps a corporations desire to make money. Companies don't have a RIGHT to make money. They have a RIGHT to try. Profit is not enshrined anywhere and nor should it be. The right of people should always trump those (intentionally minimized) rights of companies.

    • Interesting point.
      Similar to the pursuit of happiness.

      too bad it was posted anonymously.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        > too bad it was posted anonymously.

        What part of privacy did you not understand?

      • Is it interesting? Corporate profits keep shelves jammed with things.

        The real evil is the privacy laws doesn't extend to government, which continues to root through things.

        Are you in Europe? Ask your grandma. She has experience with governments peeking when they shouldn't, and/or "wonderful" places that outlawed corporate profits.

        • My grandparents lived through one and my parents and me through the other.

          I still prefer living in Europe with it's (mostly) reasonable privacy laws rather then living in the US where corporate interests trump everything, often enough including the law.

        • by lxs (131946)

          Shit man, you often make some interesting points in this place but your whole "teh gubmint iz ev!l" thing is getting really old.

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          The shelves are jammed with things we don't need.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The debate is what constitutes privacy, what level of privacy, under what circumstances can you be seen as voluntarily sacrificing that right, etc.

      All you're doing is creating a black and white straw-man to avoid real conversation.

      • No the debate is whether US corporations understand they have to adhere to our laws and stop the astroturfing bullshit in nations that are not their own. I mean, I don't care if Google corrupts Washington but in Europe I expect them to behave or leave.
        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          And before someone says it they won't leave because Europe is a massive market, bigger than the US. All this bullshit about companies leaving markets is just that - they will comply with the law as long as they can still turn a profit, even if that profit is reduced.

    • They have a RIGHT to try.

      And that right - which I agree is a perfectly valid right - is exactly why the effect these directives/laws have had are not in line with what was desired.

      Basically you've now got a bunch of websites that do one of three things:
      A. Show a landing page to any 'new' visitor asking them to agree to placing any and all tracking bits. If the visitor disagrees, they simply will not get to see the site. Period. Fair enough, right? But most people will just shrug it off and accept the tr

    • Who is arguing otherwise?
    • by Hentes (2461350)

      But isn't banning people from voluntarily selling their privacy a removal of one of their rights?

    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

      and where would you be without the economy? Do you know how to build your own house by chance?

      Society is based on compromise, take away the commercial sector's ability to do what it does and you better learn to build that house, might be good for you to do anyways.

  • Cookie law sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @08:19AM (#43481711) Homepage

    I used to browse with cookies being cleared at the end of the session. Now, whenever I go to a website, I have to put up with a banner or screen filling notice telling me that this website uses cookies and to click here to accept or reject.

    This happens every time I go to the website and is incredibly annoying. How do I get it to go away? I have to accept the website's cookies.

    Oh, the irony.

    • I like the banner. It lets me know that my browser is successfully clearing cookies at the end of the session. It's the same situation with Ghostery; If I see blocked trackers, I think "Awesome. Working as intended!" If the little icon has no number next to it, though, I start thinking that something isn't working right.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      If only someone could craete a way to block banners. oh well I guess you life is hell becasue you see a banner ad.

    • That's what I do and I'm not about to change, no matter how irritating it is. This law actually actually reduces the level of privacy by making the most private settings unusable.
    • I just treat those EU cookie bullshit banners like annoying advertising and Adblock the fuckers.

      Because that's all they are - spam advertising that's saying "Hey, cookies exist and get used, this has been a public service advertisement by your clueless overly-bureaucratic government organisation in Europe. We're here to help. Pray that we don't help you even more."

      They're as annoying as pop-ups and scroll-overs. Some are ignorable and all are useless. And they actually encourage the tracking of people (assu

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        It's not the EU's fault, it is the web designer's fault. Rather that putting up an annoying banner they could display the message in a less irritating way. The industry could even get together and agree a "this site uses cookies" symbol they could put somewhere visible but not irritating, similar to warning triangles or safety certification marks.

    • by MacDork (560499)
      You could stop going. The law exempts session cookies. The site is telling you they are dropping tracking cookies on you on behalf of advertisers. Clearing your cookies when you close the browser doesn't help in this case. While you may continue, others who care about their privacy are hitting the back button.
  • by wynterwynd (265580) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @08:28AM (#43481791)

    Anonymous sources claim that "Misleading titles in articles lead skimmers to wrong conclusions, which unnamed experts say can be as damaging to society in some ridiculously extreme cases as eating a baby."

    Seriously though, let me get this straight: Google is "breathing new life" into the bill all on its own by complying with the law?

    Oh noes! I just breathed new life into all these traffic laws by stopping at red lights this morning! And I think I singlehandedly resurrected the anti-murder laws by not killing anyone today!! Also I threw my support wholeheartedly behind the Patriot Act when I submitted to a random FBI spidering by typing this sentence!!! Exclamation points!!!!

    Can we please all just take a deep breath before we come up with these article titles - if I wanted radical sensationalism, I'd be reading the mass media news feeds.

    • by Shimbo (100005)

      Yes, the whole 'if we ignore the law, it will go away thing' was a bit stupid. The ICO may have more important things to deal with than every mop-and-pop website that uses cookies not complying on day 1. However, the UK is not Europe and just because the UK regulator isn't particularly keen on enforcement, it doesn't mean that it won't be enforced it other countries. And if you are Google, you have competitors queuing up to make complaints.

  • Those folks slamming personalised web services for the potentially intrusive BI, are you comfortable with the slashdot cookies? :-) I've been using /. in AC mode mostly, for the last several years, because of the privacy concerns. "Anonymous coward" and proud of it...
  • I'm in the Netherlands but always use google.com. I don't see a banner. If I go to google.nl I see the banner, although it is not as conspicuous as the OP makes us believe. Anyway, I'm sticking with google.com!
  • riiight... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @09:57AM (#43482745)

    " the regulation to be harmful to the economy while offering no real improvement to online privacy and security problems"

    Riiight this has zero benefit because, why? Because an informed person is a bad consumer , decision maker and general PITA ... to corporations...

You see but you do not observe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"

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