And while European-based web sites fear they will bear the brunt of enforcement, U.S.-based website with users in Europe are potentially subject to these rules.
The potential fines for violation of the EU cookies rule are high – up to £500,000 in the UK – but it is unclear whether or when EU authorities will commence enforcement of this new rule. The ICO has said it will delay enforcement to give website operators the time to adjust their practices. The ICO has also held out the possibility that the ultimate solution will be more advanced web browser technology. The ICO advocates widespread adoption of web browsers that give users more control over the types of cookies that they allow to be placed on their computer. But until this technological solution arrives, website operators with users in Europe must confront the question of how and how soon they will bring their sites into compliance with the EU directive.