European Parliament Declines to Bite Cookies

31 May 2002

The European Parliament on Thursday completed its second reading of the controversial Data Protection in Electronic Communications directive that deals with cookies and politically sensitive data retention, plus commercial email and SMS marketing.

The Spanish Government, incumbent President of the European Union (a role that rotates among member states every six months) proposed various last minute compromise amendments in order to avoid a potentially protracted third reading of the directive.

The amendments, which successfully sought to remove the contentious requirement to provide information “in advance” of cookies being used, met with widespread support across the political groups.

News of the vote was received with predictable enthusiasm by Danny Meadows-Klue, chairman and ceo of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (UK): “We are delighted that the European Parliament gathered sufficient votes to support these compromise amendments which are a victory for common sense.

“The IAB has fought long and hard to achieve this outcome and although not perfect, the new wording will allow the online and interactive industries to develop practical solutions to deliver consumer protection as well as fast and efficient internet usage.”

Data sourced from: Interactive Advertising Bureau (UK); additional content by WARC staff