EU Cookie Law & Google Analytics

With the arrival of the new EU Cookie Law, Google Analytics will be targeted as an ‘undesirable’ use of cookies without user consent. This means that websites using Google Analytics will have to display a popup window to arriving visitors, letting them know that the website uses cookies and asking if they consent to their use.

If ever there was a law created for the internet by people who have no idea how the internet works, this is it. Even the ICO website (the lawmakers) took months to comply with its own regulation, and there is still a huge amount of ambiguity about the best implementation of these consent windows.

A few things do seem to be clear:

  • Google Analytics is not exempt from the EU Cooke law
  • Cookies that track items in a shopping cart through to check are exempt from the EU Cookie Law
  • Implied consent is not acceptable in the form of a simple privacy page explaining what cookies are used
  • Most people will probably ignore the law and wait to see what happens. This is because online businesses are not going to add any interruptive messaging to their sites until the last possible moment, and perhaps not before they’ve seen what their rivals are doing about it.