Data protection authorities across the G7 should be urged to tackle annoying consent pop-ups, which critics say are not fit for purpose.
Proposals to improve the ways web users approve cookies will be discussed in a series of virtual meetings to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The government cited the processing of cookie requests as an example of UK data protection system reforms that you plan to provide in the future.
What is a web cookie?
A cookie is a piece of information stored by your browser that is shared with the websites you visit without changing it.
The technology is used by online retailers to remember the items you wish to purchase when you visit check-out, as well as to store your username and passwords.
Cookies are designed to be unique to your browser, but this means that some websites can use special tracking cookies to track you across the web.
These cookies are often used by third-party advertisers who, by configuring data on the sites you visit and the shopping you are interested in, can target ads to you.
Cookie consent forms are designed to allow web users to allow tracking cookies to be saved by their browsers, but the annoying popup design forces many people to click I agree without purposefully agreeing.
The meetings will be chaired by Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s current Information Commissioner, who is due to leave her post this year.
But her position has been met with criticism, with the Open Rights Group among the organizations claiming that Ms Denham’s appeal to the G7 contradicts the way she has performed her role as regulator.
“The simple fact is that most cookie banners are illegal, and the data collection behind them, as stated in her own report, is also illegal,” Jim Kellock said.
“If an ICO wants to sort out cookie banners, it has to follow its own conclusions and enforce the law.
“We have been waiting for over two years for the ICO to deal with this, and now they are asking G7 to do their job for them. This is simply outrageous.
« We fully support their call for automated signals, but in the meantime they must enforce the law, which is their job, » he added.
Each of the G7 authorities will make a presentation during the meetings on an issue they believe requires international cooperation.
According to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), many people automatically choose to « I agree » when presented with cookie popups, leaving them without meaningful control over their personal data.
Ms Dunham suggests a new system « in which web browsers, software applications and device settings allow people to set permanent privacy preferences of their choosing, rather than having to do so through pop-ups every time they visit a website ».
« This would ensure that people’s privacy preferences are respected and the use of personal data is reduced, while improving users’ browsing experience and removing friction for businesses, » her office explained.
“While this approach is already technologically feasible and compliant with data protection law, the ICO believes that the G7 authorities can have a significant impact in encouraging technology companies and standards organizations to continue developing and introducing privacy-oriented solutions to this problem.”
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