[Air-L] Air-L NY Times story on privacy legislation

Andy andymcstay at gmail.com
Sat Jan 26 23:47:07 PST 2013

>From what I can tell the situation seems to be that some member states are
playing ball and have enforced the Cookie Directive (2009/136/EC) and
others, such as the UK, have been dragging their heels. This
involvesapplications of
the Directives where consent does not need to be obtained upfront. Hmm!

I have not read the NY Times article, but it is not all cookie-use that is
affected and it is possibly here where the confusion lay. Instead whereas
in the past website owners/managers had to tell users how they used
cookies, and how users might opt-out if they objected, they now have to
gain consent from users if they are to place cookies on a user’s machine.
Exceptions to this rule are restricted to situations where the placement of
cookies relates to a service explicitly requested by the user, as with the
case of automatic form-filling for example. Third-party cookies, the type
employed by behavioral advertising firms, are given special attention by
the legislation.

I wrote a paper published with NMS on this here:


> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Charles Ess <charles.ess at gmail.com>
> To: Air list <air-l at listserv.aoir.org>
> Cc:
> Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2013 10:23:18 +0100
> Subject: [Air-L] NY Times story on privacy legislation
> Dear privacy wonks,
> I've just read a NY Times story reporting on U.S. business and governmental
> lobbying of the European Parliament to weaken what are characterized as
> current European proposals, including:
> "Web businesses would be unable to perform basic collecting and profiling
> of
> individual computer users unless they gave their explicit consent as part
> of
> policies that allow them to specify what kinds of information could be
> collected and for what purpose."
> As I understand it, however, the requirement for such consent is already
> law
> under the recently amended EU ePrivacy Directive.  While not all websites
> respond this way (yet - but the law, as I understand it, allows some time
> for implementation), many in my experience on this side of the pond are
> already compliant, i.e., at first visit there is a request for consent to
> accept the use of cookies (e.g., most recently, at
> <http://ccc.ku.dk/calendar/2013/methodologies_of_mobile/>).
> Of course, as a philosopher, my relationship with reality, much less the
> U.S. and European legal systems, is a strained and tortured one, so I'm
> more
> than willing to accept that I'm wrong on one or more counts here.  So help,
> please.
> Did the Times get this bit wrong? (and, gasp!) And/or - what else am I
> missing?
> Many thanks in advance,
> - charles ess
> Associate Professor in Media Studies
> Department of Media and Communication
> Director, Centre for Research on Media Innovations
> <http://www.hf.uio.no/imk/english/research/center/media-innovations/>
> University of Oslo
> P.O. Box 1093 Blindern
> NO-0317
> Oslo Norway
> email: charles.ess at media.uio.no

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