28 May, 2012

Latest EU legislation

28 May, 2012

The latest EU legislation comes into force on 26th May 2012, and has potential consequences for every job board and recruitment website.

The crux of the new law is that every website targeting users in any EU country must EXPLICITLY provide an OPT-IN to accept cookies being written to their computer.

Cookies are common place on the internet including recruitment websites.  They are typically used to determine things such as whether a user is logged-in – as well as often for more generic purposes such as tracking what pages a user visits, and what route they take through the website.  Without their use, the functionality many websites deliver could be hampered and user experience degraded.

With fines as high as £500,000 being quoted for deliberate non-compliance of the legislation, it is something deserving of consideration.

Chris Windram, General Manager Information & Technology commented “As with much EU legislation, there are areas of confusion regarding the new law.  Many believe the legislation is ill-conceived, with seemingly little consideration given to the users that the legislation is meant to protect.  It is also widely reported that the majority of government websites will not be compliant with the legislation by the time it comes into force which is this Saturday!”

James Wren, General Manager Search & User Experience continued “Despite much uncertainty surrounding this new directive, JobServe has always been and remains committed to protecting the privacy and interests of its users, and complying with guidelines for online recruitment.

By the time the law comes into force on 26th May, JobServe will be fully compliant with the legislation. Where a cookie is used in JobServe, users will be advised accordingly, made aware of our privacy policy, and invited to opt-in to receiving the cookie and, thus, being able to experience the full JobServe offering.”

With so many websites failing to meet compliancy, and with many companies taking a “sit back and watch” approach, it will be interesting to see what stance the Information Commissioner’s Office will take.  Expectations are that compliancy enquiries will be made to prominent organisations first, with further steps to potentially follow.

Credit: onrec.com