Cookies, anyone?

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The European Parliament passed the following resolution concerning cookies:
2(a) Member States shall prohibit the use of electronic communications networks to store information or to gain access to information stored in the terminal equipment of a subscriber or user without the prior, explicit consent of the subscriber or user concerned. This shall not prevent any technical storage or access for the sole purpose of carrying out or facilitating the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.

Justification:

Terminal equipment of users of electronic communications networks and any information stored on such equipment are part of the private sphere of the users requiring protection under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. So-called cookies, spyware, web bugs, hidden identifiers and other similar devices that enter the users' terminal equipment without their explicit knowledge or explicit consent in order to gain access to information, to store hidden information or to trace the activities of the user may seriously intrude the privacy of these users. The use of such devices should therefore be prohibited unless the explicit, well-informed and freely given consent of the user concerned has been obtained.

This amendment was adopted in plenary on September 6 2001 (ex. amendment 29).

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