NEWS18 April 2012

Web users open to cookie opt-in requests – survey

Data analytics UK

UK— Web users will be open to considering cookie opt-in requests when new rules come into force next month, according to Econsultancy.

A survey of 1,097 people found 60% saying they might accept cookies, depending on what they were used for. 23% said they would provide immediate consent and only 17% said they would definitely not accept cookies when arriving at a website.

The findings are broadly positive for website owners worried about how they might continue to measure their audiences once the Information Commissioner’s Office starts enforcing the requirements of the EU ePrivacy Directive. This requires companies to obtain opt-in consent to place and access cookies stored on a web users’ machine.

However, the reality may be a little different. When the ICO itself started asking for consent to drop cookies on the computers of people visiting its website, only 1 in 10 did judging by a 90% fall in recorded site traffic. This is despite warning that certain parts of its site would not work correctly without the use of cookies.

A separate Econsultancy survey of 1,500 web users suggests that only 26% of website visitors would accept cookies that helped make a site easier to use. 24% said they would soldier on, while 50% reckoned they would turn to an alternative website.

  • In an exclusive feature published today, Research investigates how the measurement industry is responding to the challenges of the EU cookie laws.