Europe Approves New Cookie Law

The Council of the European Union has approved new legislation that would require Web users to consent to Internet cookies.

Cookies, small programs that can be used to track Web movements, have come under fire as consumer groups, including the Federal Trade Commission, have sought to regulate companies that engage in targeted behavioral advertising.

While the current EU telecom law states that cookies are allowed if Internet users are notified of them and have an opt-out option, in practice, the law has been interpreted more loosely. In the United Kingdom, for example, the information commissioner’s office issued a directive emphasizing that sites should clearly direct users to a page where they can opt out.

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