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BizReport : Law & Regulation : May 10, 2012

Three-quarters of online users unaware of EU Cookie Law

The deadline for compliance with the EU Cookie Law is looming and, while businesses struggle to get their heads around it, it appears online users are, too.

by Helen Leggatt

As the new EU cookie directive looms, a survey of 2,000 online users has found that consumer awareness and knowledge of cookies is sorely lacking.

- A third believe that cookies could be used for viruses and Trojans;
- 8% had never heard of cookies;
- 9% were unaware they could disable cookies.

However, 23% said they were happy for websites to use cookies if it improved their browsing experience.

Similarly, many (75%) of the online users, surveyed by eDigitalResearch and IMRG for the latest eCustomerServiceIndex (eCSI), had not heard of the new EU cookie directive.

However, once they had the new rules and regulations explained to them, nine of out ten felt it was a positive step for consumers and were in favor.

"It's unsurprising that general consumer knowledge surrounding cookies and their uses is a bit confused," said Derek Eccleston, Head of Research, at eDigitalResearch.

"However, once the new rules and regulations come into force, retailers and websites will need to be doing everything in their power to effectively and efficiently educate visitors on how cookies are used, especially those most essential to site performance."

Last month, a survey of 55 major UK-based companies by KPMG revealed a whopping 95% were not compliant at the end of March.

After May 26, 2012, websites that fail to comply with the new EU Cookie Law face fines of up to half a million UK Pounds ($800,000).

Tags: cookies, EU Cookie Law, site performance, survey

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