E.U. provides cookie guidance while internet giants explore cookie-killing technology

By Matt Klinger

In October, the European Commission's official data protection advisory group, the Article 29 Working Party, issued its latest guidance for complying with the EU's e-Privacy Directive (affectionately known as the "Cookie Directive").

Among other provisions the new guidance provides that when accessing a website, users must have access to "all necessary information" about the types and purposes of cookies used by the site.  In addition, the guidance clarifies that a user's consent to place cookies on a device, which is required by the Cookie Directive, must be sought before cookies are set or read.  Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are each developing online tracking methods that could eventually make cookies, and the new guidance, obsolete.