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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 14 June  2012

What is this Cookie Business on the web?

SORRY for our annoying pop up which we have had to add. This is because of a new law, which came into effect 26 May 2012. The new EU Cookie Law affects all online websites in the UK and throughout Europe. At this point in time, in a very ironic twist, most UK Government websites are not yet compliant, so let's be honest, this law is a right hash-up! The big worry is that is if users fail to accept the cookies, many sites will not function. So why impose a law that is wrongly directed and misguided? Sadly, the UK has no option but to impose it. The EC directive calls for member states to legally require publishers to obtain consent from web users before tracking their online behaviour using cookies and other forms of tracking. The main focus is on Cookies. They are files that are downloaded and stored on users' computers. Thankfully, a change the day before the directive was passed now lets websites use implied consent, but still this is becoming a major headache for many businesses and has created a wave of protests. UK's Information Commissioner has said that:- "Implied consent has always been a reasonable proposition in the context of data protection law in the UK and privacy regulation and it remains so, in the context of storage of information or access to information using cookies and similar devices." Oddly, in the UK, many businesses are still unaware that the use of tracking tools like cookies can fall under the UK's Data Protection Act 1998. So how will this be enforced, as the UK's Data Protection Act has been overlooked for so long? Also, many of the issues raised by the EU are well and truly covered in the UK's Data Protection Act anyway and this just adds extra complexity and worry to both operators of websites and their users. Yet, be warned, unlike the Data Protection Act, this EU Law covers personal sites as well! So if you have, say Google or YouTube applications on it, or any form of logging or tracking, well you have to have a warning on your site now. Already all UK Businesses have to register under the UK's Data Protection Act when they use cookies and other type devices/files that involve the processing of personal data. All Businesses now will need to comply with the additional requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act) and this new Law! The new EU law which came into effect applies all electronic communications from computers to mobile devices, so the complexity of this is mind boggling and how many users will understand the information given? The new law requires websites to show users:- Initially to warn and inform a visitor that the site is using cookies in some form (a message on the site, a pop up and so on).

Then provide a page, and a link to the page, detailing what cookies are and how to disable them if the visitor wishes.

The problem is ambiguity, both in the law and in the UK attitude towards the law. The Information Commissioners Office
(ICO) accepts the legislation will be difficult to enforce, but will act against any company flouting the spirit of the law. ICO, Christopher Graham, in a press statement has said:- "We will not have a wave of knee-jerk formal enforcement action taken against people who are not yet compliant, but trying to get there. If you have decided that this is all too difficult... that you will get around the law by wilfully misleading people... then we will be checking your site and we will take the necessary steps to ensure that you do work towards compliance."

"The approach to the cookie law is half baked and irresponsible. It will only increase fear and distrust at first and then lead to annoyance. How many remember that the UK's No Smoking Law requires every work vehicle and work place entrance and exit to have a no smoking sign clearly on display? Many businesses have now stopped putting it up, as it is annoying and pointless."
Many businesses in the UK have pointed out, that in the UK, there will not be crack Government team dedicated to hunting illegal websites and it is down to the public to flag sites they think are breaking the law, via the ICO's website. Laws can only succeed if they're clear and enforceable; this current EU directive is intentionally vague... But be warned as it is so vague... Although all UK websites having a small window of grace, before this law is enforced, you should take note that the new Law gives the ICO the power to fine companies up to £500,000 for breaches of privacy regulations! ICO, Christopher Graham, has been quick to point out that businesses shouldn't simply ignore the new cookie law, just because the ICO is adopting a fairly soft approach to enforcement. When Governments require money, this might well be an easy option for them to grab cash! Yet, in a YouTube video, ICO said it doesn't expect to levy fines in the near future:- "It's most unlikely that breaches of cookie requirements will meet the criteria that we have to satisfy before we can impose fines. It would have to be a serious breach and it has to be likely to cause substantial damage or distress to individuals."

In short, what are the so called benefits to website users:-Oddly, after cutting down to the bone, next to nothing. The industry is also saying that not only will this spoil the enjoyment of using the internet, but could lead to the loss of free browsing forever! So, do you feel any better now that we at Southport Reporter have added a statement about our tracking or not?

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Manx Direct

08447 402 038

2 Years Parts & Labour Worranty


Official Worldwide Launch Of New Tarzan - Update - "Are You Going?"
A new note for buskers
Meet Former Everton Physio Mick Rathbone
Want to be on TV? R-you funny?
NSPCC warns of child neglect crisis as reports to its helpline double
Southport Charity Funfest
1st industrial action by doctors in 40 years

Southport Vue Film Showing Times

Shared parenting should not be confused with parental rights, says Law Society
The Lancashire Hotpots are in town!
Freedom honour for charity founder
Boost for city's cultural organisations
Jane Costello Photos & Interview
A nation of money worriers, but money's still a dirty word
Boost for city’s cultural organisations
Euro MPs legislate for a safer and fairer mortgage market
New plan for Children's Centres
A growing number of people are cutting back on their oral healthcare
Heart charity sends out SOS to Merseyside children
Law Society Excellence Awards are now open for nominations
National Federation of Builders 'STAY SAFE, STAY AWAY' Campaign
Celebrating our staff at the Staff Excellence Awards
Look out for bees, beetles, butterflies and even flies - we need them more than you think!
New found optimism in the North West
Work on Wallasey maritime welfare project set to start
Liverpool fraudster's web of lies
Apprentice Boys Annual Southport Parade 2012
Woodvale Rally 2012 Date & Location Change Reminder
Centre opens to help vulnerable youngsters
University of Central Lancashire Vice-Chancellor to retire by summer 2013
A King George V College student's bungee jumped for Lattitude Global Volunteering
Wobbling round Boothstown
Missing From Home:- "Michael Cawley"
Jones shines on Ginetta Supercup debut
Sodexo Prestige scores at star studded awards dinner
Formby Market on the Jubilee weekend
Huge regional variation in patients having diabetes care checks
Chief Constable Commendations 2012
Riders Join Manchester To Liverpool Bike Ride To Support NSPCC
Students borrowing thousands of pounds blind
Alex and her Stunning Jubilee Cake Wins Southport Bake Off
It's happen-Ping in Liverpool!
Southport Carnival & The British Armed Forces Weekend 2012

DO not forget that the British Armed Forces Weekend is on Princes Park from 11:00 to 17:30 on the 30 June and also on 1 July 2012! Plus the The carnival Starts at 13:00 from Knowsley Road on 30 June 2012, heads down Lord Street and ends at the Park later that day. Plus The Falklands 30th Parade starts at 10:30 from Chaple St. on the 1 July 2012.




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