Privacy Advisor

UK—ICO issues updated guidance on cookie consent

July 1, 2012

By Leonie Power

The ICO has issued updated guidance for organisations in relation to the new cookie rules, together with guidance for individuals, which explains what a cookie is and how to raise concerns about an organisation's use of cookies.

The updated guidance clarifies that implied consent is a compliant form of consent for the purposes of the new cookie rules but states that, in certain circumstances, it may be more appropriate to obtain explicit consent, for example if sensitive personal data is being collected. According to the guidance, in order to be able to rely on implied consent, users must understand that, by taking certain actions, cookies will be set. The guidance also warns against relying on a privacy policy that is difficult to locate or understand.

The ICO has made available a reporting tool via its website, which allows individuals to report websites they believe are noncompliant with the new cookie laws or to raise concerns about particular cookies. The ICO has indicated that the information provided via the tool will be used to inform its future guidance and enforcement action.

Leonie Power is a Senior Associate at Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP and a member of its Privacy and Information Law Group. Leonie can be contacted at