ICO issues follow up warning on cookie compliance

Posted on Thursday 01 February 2024

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has called on the industry to proactively make advertising cookies compliant with data protection law following a positive response to its initial action


Last November, the ICO wrote to 53 of the UK’s top 100 websites stating that organisations must make it as easy for users to ‘Reject All’ advertising cookies as it is to ‘Accept All’. This followed the ICO & CMA’s publication of joint guidance on website design earlier in the year - including the need to use design to empower user choice and control.

According to the latest update from Stephen Almond, Executive Director, Regulatory Risk at the ICO, the regulatory body has seen “an overwhelmingly positive response to our call to action” with 38 organisations changing their cookie banners to be compliant and four committing to reach compliance within the next month.

He goes on: “Several others are working to develop alternative solutions, including contextual advertising and subscription models. We will provide further clarity on how these models can be implemented in compliance with data protection law in the next month.” 

The update states that the ICO will “not stop with the top 100 websites. We are already preparing to write to the next 100 – and the 100 after that”. The ICO is basing this breakdown on UKOM data.  To speed up the process, it is developing an AI solution to identify websites that are using non-compliant cookie banners. You can read the full update here

We are currently working with our publisher members and the AOP on this matter. If you’re an IAB member and would like more information on this work, please contact [email protected]

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