The European Union has announced plans to cut down on cookie banners that web users ‘find annoying’.
The EU Commission says that instead of having to provide consent to cookies on every website they visit, users would be able to set general preferences. The proposal also includes plans to remove banners for non-intrusive cookies.
Since 2012, EU rules have required websites to tell users what cookies are being placed on their machine, with most website developers using pop-up windows to ask the question.
European Commission vice-president, Andrus Ansip, said: “The rules changes mean that internet users will not have to click on a banner every time they visit a website. This way, people will be more in control of their settings.”
While users could set a preference in their browser for the level of cookies to which they consent, they might also need to do this in every app and on every device they log in to, commentators have warned.
Bad news for some
Some experts have warned that the plans could harm advert-funded media, as well as platforms such as Facebook and Google.
The commission’s proposals include tougher rules on how messaging services, such as WhatsApp, Skype, Gmail and Viber, track users. What’s more, email services, such as Gmail and Hotmail, would not be able to scan emails to serve targeted ads without users’ explicit permission
The European Commission hopes to introduce the changes by May 2018, although experts warned that would be a tight timeline.
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