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Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Cookies policy of Manchester City Council's websit

From: Michael Dorrington
Subject: Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Cookies policy of Manchester City Council's website
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2013 21:46:38 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686 on x86_64; rv:17.0) Gecko/20130922 Icedove/17.0.9

On 15/10/13 11:06, Yuwei Lin wrote:
> Hello,
> Not sure if this is the most appropriate forum to discuss this, but I
> thought list members may be knowledgeable enough to provide some
> guidance.
> I was completing an online web form on Manchester City Council's
> website. But the website identified that I do not have cookies enabled
> on my web browser, and asked that "You must have cookies enabled to
> fill in this form".
> Why does the city council website want me to enable cookies? I found
> Manchester City Council's new website really unfriendly and
> one-dimensional. Asking users to switch on cookies against their
> wishes is so annoying and perhaps also unlawful?
> How do you reckon?

Wikipedia has a good page on cookies:
which includes a section on the "EU cookie law" and also a section on
"Alternatives to cookies".

There is also the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) page on the
matter (which tries to set a cookie on visiting it without asking with
the helpful footer of "We have placed cookies on your computer to help
make this website better. You can change your cookie settings at any
time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.".  Additionally the
site uses googleapis.com javascript.):

Looking at the articles, Manchester City Council is probably not
breaking the law, or at least any law that is being enforced, when using
cookies for a web form.  However, there are alternative methods to
cookies for this, as described in the Wikipedia article above in the
"Alternatives to cookies" section.

Hope that helps,

FSF member #9429
"The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide
mission to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of all
free software users."

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