Jun 26, 2002
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Kudos to the EU for showing some regulatory self-restraint. European lawmakers reversed a trend begun in 1973 (when they decided to regulate of the curvature of bananas that could be imported), when they decided today NOT to impose opt-in standards on cookies. The legislation they were considering would have required every Web site that wanted to plant any cookie; in order to put items in the shopping cart and permit check-out, in order to provide personalization, or in order to spare people from having to sign in every time; to get affirmative consent from a visitor before planting the cookie, presumably via a(n annoying) pop-up box; lawmakers have decided to let the industry regulate itself. One can only imagine the havoc this would have wrought on e-commerce world-wide. Most HTML newsletters plant cookies these days. Almost all Web sites do (in part, to track repeat visitors).
The banana-curvature rules, by the way, were overturned just yesterday. Let freedom ring.