The legislation came into effect on Saturday (May 26th), but in the final hour the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) made an important change.
The guidance is in conflict with a recent Econsultancy infographic, which showed just 23 per cent of individuals would click yes when asked to accept cookies. This is despite 69 per cent knowing what an online cookie is. So, although a large number of people understand what they are, the majority would definitely not accept them when asked. Indeed, 17 per cent were sure they will reject cookies, while 60 per cent said they might click yes.
What should SMEs do?
A recent ContentPlus article explained how effective and engaging content marketing could help allay consumers' concerns over cookies and build a bond of trust between them and a business. The implication of the EU legislation here is that by clicking on to a blog, signing up for newsletters and following a brand on Twitter, Facebook or Google+, the individual is providing a sure sign that they do not mind an online profile being compiled about them.
This ContentPlus blog about the cookie legislation predicted a U-turn, although perhaps not as quickly as the ICO delivered. As the watchdog itself points out, implied consent does not mean firms can sit back and do nothing. For a start, they need to assess whether or not their intended audience knows and understands about cookies, as well as examining their consumers' online activity to see whether this points to an acceptance of the way their information is used.
Content marketing still plays an important role, even with the change, as SMEs will want to keep attracting visitors to their website, build up customer loyalty and help boost their search engine rankings.
Leave your thoughts about the ICO cookie law update below.