Tough Cookies - Cookie-Cutter Compliance with the EU Cookie Law?

BCS IRMA Group Event.

Tuesday 12 March 2013
18.00 - Registration & buffet
18.30 - Presentation
19.30 - Networking Session

BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA | Maps

Kuan Hon, Consultant and Doctoral Candidate, Queen Mary, University of London

Event Details

Many organisations have invested not insignificant sums in efforts to comply with the EU ‘cookie law’ under the so-called Cookie Directive, which was implemented in the UK in May 2012. This session will outline the requirements of the EU cookies law, whose reach is broader than most believe, covering mobile apps, etc., as well as HTTP cookies.

The UK’s data protection regulator, the ICO, asked an interesting selection of 75 firms with the most visited websites about their compliance. These ranged from banks to cloud providers, media organisations, retailers and government bodies. The ICO is setting compliance deadlines for 9 of them, ‘with formal enforcement action likely for the organisations that fail to meet this deadline’. As at August 2012, an FOI request found that 320 websites had been reported to the ICO.

The speaker will summarise ICO progress reports, and updates to a survey into methods used by leading London technology law firms’ websites to comply with the cookie law. This sector was selected for research because top tech law firms might be more motivated than most to be seen to be compliant. Their methods will be discussed in light of regulatory guidance (e.g. by the ICO). Are cookie cutter methods being used? Is implied consent sufficient? What are the penalties for non-compliance? Which way is the cookie law crumbling?

Speaker Profile

Kuan Hon, MA (Cantab), LLM (UPenn), MSc (Imperial), LLM (Queen Mary), is a joint law and computer science PhD candidate at Queen Mary and a consultant to the Cloud Legal Project. Kuan is a non-practising English solicitor and New York attorney. Before taking a Master's in Computing Science at Imperial College London and moving into technology law, Kuan was a finance and insolvency lawyer in the City of London.

Continuing Professional Development
This event counts for one hour towards your (CPD) more information available at

The presentation and video for this event can be found in the Members Area (requires a BCS Login).


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