The way most are operating is that refused consent is stored in a (perfectly acceptable) session cookie, so on your next session you'll get re-prompted. If you give consent then that this is stored as a persistent cookie seeing as you've given consent for that to be the case, and it should remember (on that device) your decision on return visits.No doubt about it - there is no other way it can really track your consent preference. It will be tricky to store it in a database as it will be difficult to identify you and your device again - though seemingly not impossible!
Looking at the BBC's site as an example, it's a bit vague. It states "If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the BBC website" and then shows a "continue" button. Their statement however implies that by continuing to browse their site gives them permission whether one clicks the "continue" button or not (and this is confirmed by not clicking "continue" and following any link on their site - a full range of cookies are set, one with an expiry date 4 years & 6 months away!). So what they're saying is, if you don't want cookies, set it in your browser's options or don't use our site. Now, if you DO click the "continue" button, the banner vanishes, cookies are set and one can browse away and nothing more is said on the matter. BUT, if instead you don't click "continue" and click on the "change your cookie settings" link, you're prompted on whether you wish specific categories of cookies to be enabled or disabled (functionality, performance, & behavioural advertising).
Problem: If you clicked "continue", all these are enabled, and 95% of users won't be aware that they can turn off (for instance) behavioural advertising tracking if they so wish. The link to get to this page isn't presented anywhere that's easily locatable, other than in that original banner & if you clicked "continue" then you're not giong to see it again.
Let's assume you clicked "continue" and then wanted to find this page... you'd logically go to the "cookies" link across the bottom, yet no "Managing Cookies" option is presented on the proceeding page. One has to go to "Cookie Information" before you get to the "Managing Cookies" option - a few too many steps I think.
So yes, the BBC's banner LOOKS great and seamlessly fits into their site design / layout, but in terms of their solution's functionality it leaves a lot to be desired and still attempts to veil their cookie setting habits imo.
The law is supposed to change the way sites work from operating on an opt-out basis to an opt-in basis, and the BBC's solution still appears to be an opt-out system with the only way to opt out being to delve into your browser's settings or not use their site. Completely the opposite of what the law was aiming to avoid.
JJonas (25th May 2012)
Personally, all this talk of cookies is making me hungry and my gut will testify that I always opt in!
MASSIVE U-Turn from the ICO at eleventh hour... 'implied consent' (ie: opt-out) now valid. Wasn't originally, but is now...
Cookies law changed at 11th hour to introduce 'implied consent' | Technology | guardian.co.uk
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