EU Couldn’t Make It Up

I’m not usually one of those who blames everything on Brussels and the Eurocrats, but every now and then I get the feeling that there is someone sat at a desk, chewing his pencil, wondering what he can add to the list of ‘things we should be worried about’.

Unless you’ve visited previously in the last 24 hours, you will have been greeted by the message above on your computer screen and it deserves a post by way of explanation.

On 26 May 2011, the man with the chewed pencil threw hit hat in the air to celebrate his greatest creation – the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (UK Regulations).

Almost all websites use ‘cookies’ in one way or another to make for a better browsing experience for their visitors. These are little text files that a website puts on your computer so that the next time you visit, it remembers who you are and your preferences.

The man with the shredded 2HB concluded that this is potentially a serious breach of your privacy and that you should be given the option of informed consent before allowing such an insidious invasion of your disk space, hence the Privacy and Electronic Communications etc regulations.

I should stress that cookies don’t actually do anything when on your computer. They’re not code, they can’t execute any actions and they certainly can’t replicate themselves like a virus.

They can be used as form of spyware to track where you go, sites you like etc which is why you often see ads appear for items you might have been searching for, but on the whole they’re harmless.

But that hasn’t stopped the EU which is why I’ve added the box, even if it isn’t clear to me whether this applies to personal blog sites or note, or whether it’s just corporate sites.

For the record, I don’t store any personal information on anyone who visits Shooting Parrots, other than email addresses that I have absolutely no intention of sharing with anyone else.

Other cookies help with the Google Analytics to see where visitors are coming from and what they’re looking at, but this is aggregated information and I can’t identify individual visitors.

But if the box becomes a pain I can always turn it off.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

7 comments… Add yours
  • Jennyta 8th June 2012

    Well, that’s the EU for you – gotta find something to do for all those employees in Brussels on inflated salaries and pensions. 😉
    I won’t be putting a box on mine – even if they send me to the Tower!

  • Roger Green 9th June 2012

    SP – from you, I’ll take cookies. (Preferably REAL cookies – I’m rather fond of oatmeal raisin…)

  • EU! It's Y.Pudding! 9th June 2012

    We should make EU an expression rather than an abbreviation. EU! Look at Merkel’s slinky outfit! EU! Look how they’re shafting Greece! EU!…these oatmeal and raisin cookies you made for Mr Roger are quite disgusting!

  • Mr Parrot 9th June 2012

    Chocolate chip cookies are my favourite Roger.

  • Mr Parrot 9th June 2012

    Spot on YP. I wasn’t sure though whether the headline was as in ‘you couldn’t make it up’ or an exasperated ‘Ee, you couldn’t make it up’. I think your interpretation is better.

  • Trevor Rowley 21st June 2012

    Not really sure what’s happened here, Mr P. I read the original declaration (the “I don’t keep any of your personal information…” that came straight across the page and invited you to say whether you agreed to this or agreed with that – sorry if I’m being too technical) and, whatever I opted for, it still wouldn’t let me into the site. I was able to peep behind the declaration and shuffle the background up and down a bit but it didn’t really allow me to see in total what was going on in my absence. Eventually, I “gave it up as a bad job” and returned to the real world. Imagine my delight when today I found that I am able to get back in here again. So, what’s been happening in the last few weeks? Have City won the Premiership yet? Is CallmeDave still teamed up with that dreadful Nick fella? Is that bloke still banging on about Yorkshire?

  • Mr Parrot 21st June 2012

    Trevor: In theory if you answered okay it shouldn’t bother you again, unless you’ve got cookies switched off in your browser settings, but in the end I switched off the cookies question as being more trouble than it was worth.

    CallmeDave now insists on being called David for tax avoidance reasons. One of my favourite lines from Twitter recently was the person who said, ‘When I voted for change in 2010, I didn’t realise they meant their f*****g minds every two minutes.’

    Hull City still have some way to go to win the Premiership, although Yorkshire bloke is quietly confident. At least he is when he isn’t being hunted by Burmese assassins.


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