With Google being recruited to be the EUs “Cookie police”, notices about cookie usage are literally popping-up all over the internet again. Whilst some might argue that these notices are an important step for user privacy, I personally see them as an unnecessary annoyance that creates a jarring user experience and litters the web. I totally agree that websites should provide clear information about cookie usage and data sharing, but pop-up alerts seem like an awful way to do this.
Who cares what I think though? As someone who makes their living by helping website owners earn more from advertising I am clearly biased. Interested to see whether that bias was clouding my judgement I commissioned a small survey and collected the opinions of these people the “Cookie law” is meant to protect: The Public.
Using Google consumer surveys I posed a single question to 500 UK internet users:
Which do you find more annoying on a website?
- Cookies being set in the background
- Pop-up notices about cookies
- I don’t know what a cookie is
- None of these
And here are the results:
Nearly five times as many users indicated the biggest annoyance was the notices than said the biggest annoyance was the Cookies. Whilst I wouldn’t suggest that this means we ignore the 12.8% most annoyed by the cookies, it does call into question the way the issue is currently being addressed.