UK ICO to Raise the Issue of Cookie Fatigue to the ‘Group of Seven’

By Bill Toulas / September 7, 2021

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will bring the problem of cookie fatigue to the attention of the G7 (Group of Seven) countries, hoping to create the ground for developing a solution to the problem. As the organization states, cookie pop-ups that ask for the users’ consent on collecting, exploiting, disseminating, and storing their personal data don’t mean anything anymore as everyone is just clicking on the ‘I agree’ option without reading anything. These pop-ups are seen as a mere annoyance and basically only degrade the browsing experience.

Simultaneously, they serve as a layer to legalize data hoarding and abuse, essentially failing in the very role they were given to fulfill: giving users control over their personal data. People are tired of seeing these pop-ups everywhere so it is unrealistic to expect them to read the multi-page policies on every website they visit and then do it again every time there’s a small change somewhere and understand all the legal jargon used in many of these policies. Something needs to change, and all countries need to work on a practical solution together.

The recipients of the call for a virtual meeting on 7-8 September are the following:

The results of this meeting will be published following the event, and we don’t know what kind of proposals may be put on the table at this time. Maybe they could involve a more general system that will take the user’s choice between “allow” and “do not allow” tracking and serve it to all websites. Possibly, something like that could be enforced through a certified common cookie blocker.

Whatever is decided upon should take a while to be implemented, as is the case with all new internet standards. Until then, websites are expected to comply with the current laws that have created this problematic situation, and users are advised to be careful with how they handle these pop-ups.

Sometimes, cookies can be helpful, and in many cases, they are required to even access a website. Third-party cookies, on the other hand, can be safely rejected, and you can do that on most modern web browsers through the settings. Also, if you have visited an unencrypted website (HTTP), you should better not accept the served cookies at all.

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