This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

All websites in the UK received a 30-day deadline from Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office to ensure that they allow users to both accept and reject all cookies, and those who fail to comply with data protection laws will face enforcement action.

The press release reads: “Some websites do not give users fair choices over whether or not to be tracked for personalized advertising. The Information Commissioner’s Office has previously issued clear guidance that organizations must make it as easy for users to “Reject All” advertising cookies as it is to “Accept All.”

According to Cybernews, these demands mean that websites could still display adverts when users reject all tracking, but they must not tailor these to the person browsing. A detailed update on companies that have not addressed the concerns of the Information Commissioner’s Office is expected to be released in January.

Research reveals that many people in Britain are concerned about companies using their personal information to target them with ads without their consent. Back in August 2023, the Information Commissioner’s Office urged websites to stop making certain options easier to find or steering users to make a particular choice in other ways.

Cookie consent pop-ups are intended to give users more control, and these were introduced in accordance with European Union legislation, like the General Data Protection Regulation. Though the UK kept the same laws after Brexit, there are still numerous popular websites in the UK (including The Times and The Guardian) that do not provide a single-click option to refuse cookies.

This move by the Information Commissioner’s Office comes after TikTok received a fine of $5.4m for its dubious cookies policy in France, which was reportedly being pushed onto users without any explanation.