"EU Has Trouble Digesting New Law on Internet Cookies" @WSJ

The Wall St. Journal has an excellent article on the EU's efforts to regulate tracking online user behavior, specifically cookies. Europe is ahead of the US in this type of regulation. Even though the dollars are much smaller ($20B in EU), the stakes are high. They are finding walking the line between privacy and targeting is tougher than it looks. I expect an equally difficult discussion in the US over the next year and beyond. 

Europe's effort to regulate online "cookies" is crumbling, exposing how tough it is to curb the practice of tracking Internet users' movements on the Web.

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We need a user-friendly solution,' says EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes, left.


Seeking to be a leader in protecting online privacy, the European Union last year passed a law requiring companies to obtain consent from Web users when tracking files such as cookies are placed on users' computers. Enactment awaits action by member countries.

Now, Internet companies, advertisers, lawmakers, privacy advocates and EU member nations can't agree on the law's meaning. Is it sufficient if users agree to cookies when setting up Web browsers? Is an industry-backed plan acceptable that would let users see—and opt out of—data collected about them? Must placing cookies on a machine depend on the user checking a box each time?

Read the full article here>> http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704444304575628610624607130.html?mod=WSJ_Tech_LEADTop