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Published on 24-05-11

New EU legislation provides for Internet users to be better informed about data stored or accessed on their computer. Member states have a deadline until 25 May to ensure users have given their consent before such data is collected if it is not related to the core service. The rules however do not require websites to obtain consent for cookies directly related to a service explicitly requested by the user (for example those that remember language preferences or the contents of shopping baskets).

    Tablet computer

    Tablet computer

    These requirements are part of a broader EU telecoms package agreed in 2009 which aims to foster competition, improve consumer rights and privacy protection and ensure easier access to telecommunication services. Among the other provisions are for example the right to switch your provider within a day while keeping your existing phone number (land line or mobile) or the guarantee to have an initial contract of no more than 24 months.

    The member states have until 25 May to implement relevant national legislation. The Commission has worked closely with them to seek swift implementation of these EU rules and will consider launching proceedings against Member States which have not implemented them in time.

    Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda said: "Citizens and businesses should take full advantage of the opportunities these new rules give them to get more competitive telecoms services. I will do my utmost to help them to do so. If these rights are not made available in practice, I will take the measures necessary to fix that situation vis-à-vis Member States and telecoms operators."

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    Last update: 24/05/2011  |Top