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DMA cautiously optimistic about cookies regulations

26 May 2011 11:47 BST Back
DMA cautiously optimistic about cookies regulations

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As the new regulations relating to cookies (the revised Privacy & Electronic Communications Directive) come into force today, the DMA is encouraging its members and the wider industry to see the new ‘cookies law’ as an opportunity to improve their websites rather than a hindrance.

While technical solutions are developed, the DMA has welcomed the Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) decision this week not to take formal enforcement action against businesses and organisations while they are working actively to address their use of cookies or are engaged in development work on browsers or other solutions. In the meantime, website owners are expected to abide by the spirit of law and develop best practice ahead of full implementation.

Caroline Roberts, director of public affairs at the DMA says: “The DMA welcomes the long-awaited regulations and is reassured by the government’s decision to allow businesses more time to come up with workable technical solutions before enforcement of the new law begins in the UK.

“Fortunately, our members are better prepared than most because the DMA has been briefing them for some time about the new regulations and continues to issue guidance and run workshops to enable them to develop best practice solutions.”

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has acknowledged that default browser settings do not meet the requirements of the Directive as they stand and has formed a working group with browser manufacturers to see if these can be enhanced to meet the requirements of the revised Directive.

The ICO has issued guidance to help UK businesses and organisations prepare for the new rules. The ICO confirms in its guidance that it will be keeping the situation under review and may issue more detailed advice later. While not a definitive guide, the guidance is a good starting point and includes some interesting potential solutions, such as providing website visitors with a list of cookies and a description of how they work. The DMA has also welcomed the publication of a legal note by DCMS clarifying certain aspects of the regulations.


Rachel Aldighieri
Head of PR, Marketing & Communications
Tel: 020 7291 3314 /07801 573324


About the Direct Marketing Association

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is Europe’s largest and most influential professional body to serve the multi-billion pound direct marketing industry. Through its unique suite of services and programme of activities, the DMA promotes the business interests of its corporate members and drives the growth of the direct marketing industry as a whole.

The Association supports the professional and commercial development of its members through offering a range of business services, including: networking and knowledge-sharing events; cutting-edge industry studies and research; updates and analysis on the latest political and legal developments; business support tools; and specialised legal advice.

On a wider scale, the DMA UK works to maintain the industry’s self-regulatory framework by developing industry standards of best professional practice; engaging with government and other policymakers on legislative matters that affect the industry; and producing industry standards that guide the sustainable development of direct marketing. The DMA also provides thought leadership for industry, and raises its profile through an active PR programme and ongoing community initiatives.

All of the DMA’s activities are directed at engendering political, commercial and consumer faith in the value of direct marketing.

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