Archive | June, 2012

E.U. “Cookie Law” changed at 11th Hour: Wolves to be protected from sheep.

9 Jun

BBC Radio 4 News ran an excellent interview on Friday 8th June with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).The BBC has been quick to monitor business response to the EU “Cookie Law”.

The interview with the ICO’s spokesman was an attempt to discover whether the newly-implemented “Cookie Law” was being obeyed. The Cookie Law demanded that websites seek explicit consent from visitors to their site before that site is allowed to store tracking data about that user. When you consider how many ways cookie data can be stored and used against the interests of the consumer, this is not an unreasonable idea.

But very recently, just prior to the implementation of the law on 26th May 2012, the ICO suddenly added a clause to allow websites to exempt themselves from the law (and the need to ask permission) if something called “implied consent” was given by the visitor. The definition of “implied consent” appears to be that the person continues to use the website.

This is a bit like introducing a seat belt law that says: “Passengers in a car must wear their seat belt or face legal action…with the exception of those passengers who persistently do not wear their seat belt.”

Roadwax dispatched a top reporter to cover the BBC Radio interview. By sitting really close to the radio and turning the volume up, the following information was overheard:

BBC Interviewer: “Has the ICO been monitoring websites to ensure compliance with the new Cookie Law?

Man from ICO: “websites…? You mean internet websites…?”

BBC Interviewer: “Yes. Have you checked to make sure that businesses with websites are complying with the new law?”

Man from ICO: “Do you mean websites run by businesses…?”

BBC Interviewer: “Yes.”

Man from ICO: “Well…I should imagine that they have…I mean, these business people are jolly good sorts, mostly.”

BBC Interviewer: “Have you monitored the situation – yes or no?”

Man from ICO: “Well…it is still very early days. I mean, you can’t rush these things. It is all terribly complicated.”

BBC Interviewer: “So, you haven’t actually done anything to monitor the situation.”

Man from ICO: “Oh, well, I wouldn’t say that exactly. I mean, we sent someone down the shop to buy a pen…”

BBC Interviewer: “A pen…? How does that constitute monitoring for compliance…?”

Man from ICO: “Well…it pays to write things down, you know. We thought buying a pen might be a good start.”

BBC Interviewer: “Well, we at the BBC have been monitoring the situation.”

Man from ICO: “Gosh…! How frightfully clever! How did you do that?”

BBC Interviewer: “We contacted businesses and asked them whether they were complying.”

Man from ICO: “Yikes..! That all sounds thoroughly like a Sherlock Holmes story. How exciting!”

BBC Interviewer: “We discovered that a lot of businesses have not complied.”

Man from ICO: “No…! Really..? Gosh…! Well, bless my Aunt Betty. Really…?”

…and so it went on…and on…and on…

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Eurozone: Landlord of collapsing gardening shed sends out for more timber…

2 Jun

The occupiers of the thirteen-year-old garden shed known as ‘The Eurozone’ have asked their Belgium-based landlord, Brussels, to “…hurry up with the repairs before the whole f******* lot falls over…”

The occupants, all members of a gardening club that sells produce to each other are desperately searching for ways to shore up the somewhat out-dated building. It was recently discovered that only the presence of the occupants themselves inside the shed was stopping it from total collapse.

An attempt by Greece to make a run for the door was thwarted when Germany grabbed it and tied it’s legs together. Spain, who were spotted edging towards freedom while whistling nonchalantly has been given threatening looks by the other occupants.

During the last two years, Italy had a shovel confiscated when other countries thought it was using it to tunnel through the floor. Ireland was then paid a huge bribe by Great Britain – a next door neighbor – to stay exactly where it was standing.

“We sell a lot of gardening tools to the present occupiers, so it would be awfully tragic for us if any of the occupants escape and cause the whole shed to topple over.” explained Britain.

“If everybody keeps calm, everything will be all right.” commented Germany, “The only problem will be if any of us try to leave. We can lend money to anyone who wants to buy more plant pots or shears.”

“The big problem is that we don’t actually need to buy gardening tools and we are broke because we keep borrowing money.” Greece explained, shouting to reporters from inside the noticeably unstable property. “The gardening tools we bought were pretty expensive, even though we got discount. Then, we had a few years of bad harvests and some of our crops were stolen by corrupt business people. Now we can’t afford to stay in the club. It is financially ruining us! The landlord should get his act together and sort out the shed!”

In response to reporter’s questions, the landlord, Brussels, has repeatedly explained that it is impossible to blame the landlord, since this is completely against the rules that the landlord has created and that all the members have agreed.

“We have, however, found some more bits of timber in the corner of the garden and are going to use these to prop up the shed for the time being. Unfortunately, these are rather expensive bits of timber and they will have to be bought by the occupants of the shed, who also paid for the shed to be built and for me, the landlord, to run it. Actually, they are phenomenally expensive. Especially if you are broke. But, we can lend money to anyone who is broke.”

An attempt by Greece to make a lunge for the landlord was averted when other countries restrained it and sat on it.

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