Following on from my last article on The EU Cookie Law, I decided to check and see whether the government had updated its sites to adhere to the new law it imposed in May 2011.
Number 10 Downing Street
No request to send me cookies. Looks like their using Google Analytics though!
No request to send me cookies. Again, looks like their using Google Analytics (and more!).
DVLA – Driver & Vehicle Licensing Authority
No request to send me cookies. Again, looks like their using Google Analytics.
Information Commissioners Office
Although they appear to be trying to adhere, they’re not quite there yet. As you can see below, they are asking whether I want to accept cookies from them, unfortunately after they have already sent one.
No request to send me cookies. (The cookie had my IP address within it so I had to blur it out)
Are they breaking the law?
It appears so, they’ve all issued me cookies without asking permission to do so. I’ll leave up to you to decide whether the session cookies in the last two examples are ‘strictly necessary for a service requested by a user’, with the law being as vague as it is. Either way, they’d still allow the site to ‘track your visit’ to some extent. The other examples are definitely not ‘strictly necessary for a service requested by a user’. I assume that if we do see any cases go to court, they’ll be strictly on a case by case basis.
You can see for yourself by emptying your web browsers cache (most importantly clearing the cookies) and visiting one of these sites and then checking for cookies. Click here to find out how to empty your browsers cookies and here to find out how to view your browsers cookies.