The trouble is not with the wish to have those using the internet properly informed about risks to their security and privacy, but more with how the lawmakers decided to go about it. Especially when you consider that most people are well protected from malicious cookies via their antivirus software.
At the moment compliance relies upon millions of site owners imposing pop-ups on their readers or giving over valuable screen ‘real estate’ to warning messages (that probably don’t get read).
There are millions (billions) of web-sites in the world, a huge amount of them are based in the EU where the cookie rules apply. To get them all to comply is a huge task and hard to monitor, even with the public helping by reporting sites that do not comply. Especially when the aim really is to target sites that use cookie technology maliciously.
So what is this easier and neater solution?
Simply put, a browser internet information page.
From a certain date on every new browser or updated browser for use in the EU must, every time it is fired up, open with a non by-passable internally generated information page (not a web-page).
This page should contain:
- Basic cookie information.
- Basic antivirus information.
- Basic firewall information.
- A news feed on the latest internet, e-mail and online banking threats from fraudsters. (This will make the page relevant and interesting so that more people will be likely to take in what is on the page before moving on to browse the ‘net.)
The page could also be configured to warn the user if their firewall and / or antivirus were down or out of date.
The user can then press a ‘continue to the internet’ button, which takes them to their preferred home page, from where they can browse with confidence. And they won’t be constantly annoyed with pop-ups asking them to accept cookies, probably from a site they visit many times a day.
Done properly this could become such a useful feature that all browsers across the planet adopt it as standard. Everyone kept informed, ease of browsing maintained. It is also something that the browser providers could set up extremely quickly.
There will of course be those users who just will not upgrade as they do not like change, how the new browser operates or are just being bloody-minded, but it would only be a matter of time. They will though need to upgrade their device sooner or later and with it will come the new browser software.
All the relevant authority in each country will have to do is monitor the relatively few browsers there are out there as well as checking for new boys on the block and work with them to ensure compliance. Far easier, and of course cheaper than trawling through millions of sites.