Britain’s ‘Cookie Law’ Causes Confusion, Lawbreaking

britains cookie law causes confusion lawbreaking cookiesThis weekend saw the United Kingdom’s so-called “cookie law” come into effect, making it illegal for websites based in the UK to track visitors without their informed consent despite the an estimate from government officials that the majority of websites were not prepared in time to operate properly under the new laws. Welcome to the new Lawbreaking Internet.

The new law requires users to be told by websites they visit when cookies are being placed on their machine, as well as being offered an option to refuse cookies.

Despite the deadline for the British version of the European Union’s e-privacy directive having been known for a year, the BBC reports that a spokeman for the British Information Commmissioners Office expected that “the vast majority of websites” wouldn’t be ready in time for the law being enforced on Sunday. As a result, the ICO said that it wouldn’t be taking immediate action over non-compliance: “Up until now, if we received a complaint about your website we would point you in the direction of our guidance,” said group manager Dave Evans, adding that “Given that everyone has had a year, we’re going to shift from that kind of approach to one which will be very much more focused on those people who don’t appear to have done anything and asking them ‘why not?'”

In future, the ICO will be able to fine non-compliant sites up to £500,000 (Around $781,750 at current exchange rates).

That said, it’s not just British websites that weren’t ready for the new law to go into effect. A survey carried out by Ipsos MORI found that only 24 percent of online users between the ages of 16-24 knew that there would be any do-not-track law in place anytime soon, with 16 percent not even aware of what an Internet cookie actually was. The ICO has come under attack for not doing enough to publicize the law or offer guidance about what was expected once the law was in place, a charge that Evans refutes: “What we want to do is look at where our resources can best be put,” he said. “Regulators have got resources that are not infinite. The best solutions are where industry sits down and develops it themselves. The more they can do, the easier it is for us to regulate.”

The problem is that companies aren’t able to self-regulate without more information about how they should be doing so. “Some of the implementations [so far] are very poor,” complains Tim Gurney, managing director of compliance company Wold Software. “For me, they’re making a mistake because users will stop using their sites.”


Do these Geekbench results accurately represent the Moto G7?

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and Kittyhawk.io could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.

Apple Maps boosts Flyover locations, indoor mall maps, and more

In a boost for Apple Maps, the tech company has recently added more than 50 new locations for Flyover, the feature that offers spectacular 3D photo views of particular cities and famous landmarks around the world.
Smart Home

Booth babes, banned sex toys, and other mishaps at CES 2019

From female sex toys bans, to fake Tesla/robot collision stories, there was some weird stuff going on at CES 2019 this year. Here are some of the biggest mishaps and flubs at the world's biggest tech show.

Google has found a clever way to make your search history more useful

Google has found a clever way to make more use of your search history by showing links to pages you've visited before. Ideal for repeat searches for the same page, the links show up on cards at the top of mobile search results.

Shutdown makes dozens of .gov websites insecure due to expired TLS certificates

The US government shutdown is causing trouble in internet security. As the shutdown enters day 22, dozens of government websites have been rendered insecure or inaccessible due to expired transport layer security (TLS) certificates.

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.

Cathay Pacific messes up first-class ticket prices — again

A couple of weeks ago, an error on Cathay Pacific's website resulted in first-class seats selling for a tenth of the price. On Sunday, January 13, the airline made the error again. The good news is that it'll honor the bookings.

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.