Dutch rules requiring all websites to get express permission from visitors to use software known as cookies is to be watered down, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp has told parliament.
MPs had urged the minister to take steps to stop the constant appearance of irritating popups on websites since the legislation came into effect last year.
Cookies are small pieces of code which allow websites and advertisers to track user movements and remember information. Dutch legislation goes further than EU rules and has been widely criticised.
‘I consider it very important to protect the privacy of internet users,’ the minister said. ‘At the same time, we must ensure this protection does not unnecessarily hinder users.’
The new rules mean websites which collect anonymous information on visitors for analytical purposes or to ensure the smooth running of the site will not have to ask visitors for explicit permission to install cookies.
However websites which include tracking cookies, aimed at gathering information about users’ behaviour, will still have to ask visitors for permission to install them, Kamp said.
The new legislation is currently out to consultation and the finalised version will be sent to parliament in the autumn.
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