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UK webmasters, should they be worried?

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In May 2011 a new law came into effect across the EU (European Union) concerning the use of cookies on web sites which are owned by organisations or individuals located within the EU. The deadline for compliance with this law is Saturday 26th May 2012, after which owners of non-compliant web sites can be prosecuted, and the maximum fine (in the UK) is £500,000. Compliance basically requires the site to pro-actively ask the user whether they agree that the site can store cookies on their computer. Individual EU countries appear to be taking their own approach to applying the law....

So, I ask, should UK webmasters be worried? Many websites don't comply by this rule yet, and the fine looks extremely high!

The Government's article.

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Easily one of the most retarded laws the EU has brought about so far. They simply do not understand what cookies are actually used for in the majority of cases, and just because a few uneducated people are paranoid about it, they bring in a ridiculous law that forces website to show obtrusive messages to users.

I dunno, the BBC had an article on this yesterday and this part...

Fines for non-compliance were unlikely to be levied, he said, because there was little risk that a non-compliant site would cause a serious breach of data protection laws that was likely to cause substantial damage and distress to a user.

...makes me think it's not such a big deal to be in breach of.

I haven't actually read the law fully but I don't understand why all this emphasis in the news is specifically being put on UK websites. Why just the UK? If it's an EU law then what about all the other EU countries? Won't they be in breach of it too?

My server is actually located in The Netherlands. So if this is just for UK sites then I'm technically exempt. So fuck 'em. Anyway, I haven't done anything about this stupid cookie law on any websites I run. We already have a privacy policy here on TGTAP which tells you exactly how we use cookies. We actually don't use anything ourselves aside from keeping you logged in if you tick the box to do that. Cookies for statistical purposes are handled by Google Analytics, and advertising ones (the ones people are paranoid about) simply serve you more relevant ads but again we don't even use these ourselves.

Oh well, all people achieve by blocking cookies is ensuring they see less relevant and thus more annoying ads... I don't get why someone would want to do this, and why they have a problem with being served relevant ads. They seem to think people are spying on them, when in reality all that's happening is an algorithm is analysing data which no human sees. People are idiots.

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