Categories: Analysis

Are Cookie notices the cure that is worse than the disease?

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.

It’s official: Cookie notices are more annoying that cookies.

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.

Mat Bennett :

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