Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Please supply the following statistics, from the date of commencement of the cookie law in the UK.

1. The number of referrals to the ICO regarding sites in non compliance with the cookie law.

2. The number of referrals to the ICO regarding sites in non compliance with the cookie law
where the referral against a particular site is multiple (i.e. more than one referral agains a particular site)

3, The number of sites that have been contacted regarding the non compliance with the cookie law by the ICO.

4. The number of sites prosecuted, or other action taken ( please define) against a site for the non compliance of the cookie law.

5. The number of staff dedicated on a full time basis assigned to police the cookie law.

Yours faithfully,

P Foomer

Information Commissioner’s Office

PROTECT

17th September 2012

Reference: IRQ0464694

Dear Sir or Madam, 

Thank you for your correspondence of 14 September 2012 in which you have
made a request for information. 

Your request is being dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.  We will respond promptly, and no later than 12
October 2012 which is 20 working days from the day after we received your
request.

Should you wish to reply to this email, please be careful not to amend the
information in the ‘subject’ field. This will ensure that the information
is added directly to your case. However, please be aware that this is an
automated process; the information will not be read by a member of our
staff until your case is allocated to a request handler.

Yours sincerely

Hannah Burling
Lead Information Governance Officer 

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

Information Commissioner’s Office

PROTECT

12th October 2012

Case Reference Number IRQ0464694

Dear P Foomer

Request for Information
 
Further to our acknowledgement of 17 September 2012 we are now in a
position to provide you with a response to your request for information
dated 14 September 2012.
 
As you know we have dealt with your request in accordance with your ‘right
to know’ under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA),
which entitles you to be provided with a copy of any information ‘held’ by
a public authority, unless an appropriate exemption applies.
 
Request
 
In your e-mail you asked us to provide you with the following items of
information:
 

 1. The number of referrals to the ICO regarding sites in non compliance
with the cookie law.

 

 2. The number of referrals to the ICO regarding sites in non compliance
with the cookie law where the referral against a particular site is
multiple (i.e. more than one referral against a particular site).

 

 3. The number of sites that have been contacted regarding the non
compliance with the cookie law by the ICO.

 

 4. The number of site prosecuted, or other action taken (please define)
against a site for the non compliance of the cookie law.

 

 5. The number of staff dedicated on a full time basis assigned to police
the cookie law.

 
Information Held

Before responding to each of your requests it may be helpful to explain
that the ICO allowed a 12 month lead in period from the date the new rules
came into force, which ended in May 2012, for organisations to develop
ways of meeting the cookie related requirements before the Commissioner
would consider using his enforcement powers.  Full details of the ICO’s
approach can be found in the document ‘Enforcing the revised Privacy and
Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR)’ which is available from our
website [1]here.  You may also be aware that we issued a [2]press release
in May 2011, when the new rules came into effect.
 
The ICO uses an electronic case management system to administer the
complaints and enquiries we receive.  Complaints made relating to PECR are
given the prefix ‘ELE’ on our system, and a further search can be
conducted on those which relate specifically to cookies.  In addition, all
written enquiries about PECR are given the separate prefix ‘PEC’ and again
can be searched for those which relate specifically to cookies, although
please bear in mind that only a proportion of these enquiries will be
expressing concerns about the use of cookies.
 
In addition to this, since May this year the ICO has invited people to
provide feedback and report their cookie concerns using a tool on our
website [3]here, however these reports are not being treated as formal
complaints or enquiries, and as such have not been set up on our case
management system as ‘ELE’ or ‘PEC’ cases.  As our website explains, the
purpose of this reporting tool is to help us monitor organisations’
adherence to the cookie rules, and identify sectors where further advice
or enforcement activity may be required.

Therefore, when you ask us to provide you with the number of ‘referrals’
made to the ICO about cookies were have searched our records under the
‘ELE’ and ‘PEC’ case references on our case management system, as well as
the reports notified to us through our website tool which are recorded
separately. 
 
With this in mind, our response to each of your requests is as follows:
 
1. The number of referrals to the ICO regarding sites in non compliance
with the cookie law.
 
We have recorded 18 formal complaints about websites use of cookies
(received between June 2011 and June 2012)
 
We have received 447 enquiries about cookies between 26 May 2011 and 30
September 2012 (although not all will relate to non-compliance).
 
A further 485 referrals have been made to the ICO via the website
reporting tool, between 25 May 2012 (when the tool became available) and
30 September 2012.
 
These referrals were last analysed for websites appearing more than once
(ie multiple referrals) on 6 September 2012, at which time 209 separate
websites had been complained about.
 
 
2. The number of referrals to the ICO regarding sites in non compliance
with the cookie law where the referral against a particular site is
multiple (i.e. more than one referral against a particular site)

As at 30 September 2012, we had identified 43 websites which had received
more than one referral to the ICO via the reporting tool.
 
 
3, The number of sites that have been contacted regarding the non
compliance with the cookie law by the ICO.
 
We wrote to 71 separate websites in May 2012 to ask about the steps they
had taken in order to ensure their websites were compliant with the cookie
rules.
 
We wrote again to 6 of these websites in late September 2012 as we had not
received a full response to our previous enquiries (although we would
mention that we wrote to these sites to provide a cross-section of
frequently visited sites, not because there is evidence they are
non-compliant).
 
We can also confirm that the referrals to the ICO are monitored regularly,
and further websites will be contacted again as part of that monitoring
programme.  We will also be posting further updates on our website in
November 2012 to ensure the public are aware of our work and progress in
this area.

4. The number of sites prosecuted, or other action taken ( please
define) against a site for the non compliance of the cookie law.

As the ICO has allowed websites this lead in period of one year from May
2011 to comply with the cookie rules, as yet no formal action has been
taken against any website at this time.

5. The number of staff dedicated on a full time basis assigned to
police the cookie law.
 
No member of ICO staff works full time on monitoring compliance with the
cookie rules.  However, staff from our First Contact Department, notably
the teams which deal with telephone and written enquiries and complaints
will deal with matters relating to the cookie rules.  Furthermore, staff
from within our Enforcement Department, notably our PECR and Intelligence
Hub Teams, are also responsible for monitoring compliance with the cookie
rules.
 
 
Review Procedure
 
I hope this provides you with the information you require.  However, if
you are dissatisfied with this response and wish to request a review of
our decision or make a complaint about how your request has been handled
you should write to the Information Governance Department at the address
below or e-mail [4][email address]
 
Your request for internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response.  Any such request
received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the
Commissioner.
 
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation.  To make such an application, please write
to our First Contact Team, at the address given or visit the ‘Complaints’
section of our website to make a Freedom of Information Act or
Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.
 
A copy of our review procedure can be accessed from our website [5]here .
 
Yours sincerely
 
Antonia Swann      Lead Information Governance Officer
 
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF.
T. 01625 545894  F. 01625 524510  [6]www.ico.gov.uk
 
 
 

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

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