Cookies are a part of the Internet and have been the ire of many consumers who believe that cookies violate their privacy. Website owners claim that cookies help to increase the user experience and helps them to gather valuable information about who visits their site. The argument has been going back and forth for years but nothing much has been done to fix the problem. Europe has approved a cookie law that will require that the user will need to approve any and all cookies being placed on a system. This new law will go into effect on April 26, 2011.

What is going to be confusing is how sites that carry advertisements will handle consent. It seems likely that once a user consents to ads on a specific web site, that consent will remain in full force until rescinded by the user.

Where I believe the problem is going to show up, is how other countries will handle the new European law. Will a site in America need to comply when the law goes into effect for European visitors?

What do you think? Is this new law going to work? How harmful will this law be for online advertising?

Comments welcome.

.pdf version of European proposal