OK in all liklihood this post won’t make a lick of sense. That is not entirely my fault as I’m trying to make sense of something that seems more than a little crazy.
The Information Commissioners Office (whose job it will be to enforce this at some point I guess) have issued some PDF guidance and have also released a PDF press release that essentially gives website owners a year to comply. More worryingly they have made a change to their own homepage that might give an idea of the future we are all about to face.
Alongside the ICO guidance the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (the lovely people who brought the Digital Economy Act) have released their own ‘clarifying’ statement as an open-letter. To be honest after reading this I was more confused than ever.
The Open Rights Group (an organisation I tend to trust on such matters) seems to think it is all meaningless as there is no intention “of implementing any form of meaningful consent for tracking from advertising companies.” As far as I can tell that pretty much punctures a law that initially was designed to limit the invasive tracking online ad companies are capable of (something I was in favour of btw – I use Ghostery to try and limit my own exposure already).
On a practical level I’ve been issued immediate guidance from the Cabinet Office via BIS and thanks to the sterling work of Dafydd Vaughan and his work on the Recalled Products website for CFLabs I have a template to follow to ensure I can fulfill the immediate requirements.
I’ll be honest I worry this will be a law that gets ignored or circumvented by the vast majority but those of us running public sector websites will be compelled to comply and thus cripple our own sites at a time when the pressure is on to step up and deliver more and more digitally.