Eloqua Prepares For New EU Cookie Law

ePrivacy regulations for website cookie consent has spurred SaaS firm Eloqua to help its customers comply

New regulations governing the use of website cookies come into force in the UK on 26 May. The new law is an amendment to the European Union’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive which will require anyone running a website in the UK to get explicit opt-in consent from their visitors in order to deploy cookies.

The rules governing online business are beginning to vary from country to country and the need to keep track of changes has prompted Eloqua, a marketing automation company, to include a new feature in its software as a service (SaaS) provision.

Automation Of The Consent Process

Eloqua has added “strict mode” features to its Revenue Performance Management offerings that help marketers to comply with the EU’s regulations. The company will be helping its customers by automating the process of requesting opt-in consent.

When the permission request is accepted or rejected, the customer’s database entry is created or updated with the relevant opt-in status.

“So far the UK ICO [Information Commissioner’s Office] is the only government body to put out information about the directive,” Dennis Dayman, Eloqua’s chief privacy officer, told eWEEK Europe. “It’s up to each country how the law is implemented but, if Germany does something different to the UK we can add on and extend out the provision to handle requests from each country in a suitable way.”

Differences in interpretation are already beginning to show with the UK issuing a nine-page document, whereas the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation will simply allow websites to rely on browser settings to obtain users’ consent to cookies.

Eloqua is offering the new facility as a free add-on to the basic service and it will be turned on when the law comes into effect on Wednesday. Dayman added that most customers have already ticked the box to enrol for the service.

Privacy Boon or Business Obstacle?

The EC directive has been heavily criticised as hindering European businesses but James Cardew, global head of marketing at Schroders, disagrees.

“Compliance and a positive customer experience go hand-in-hand. Eloqua is helping us make sure our marketing efforts adhere not only to the new requirements, but also to the desires of our customers and prospects,” he said.

Dayman said that the Eloqua will be tracking the regulations and implementing the necessary safeguards as a service to its customers.

“Companies doing business in the European Union are deeply concerned about staying within the bounds of these new requirements,” he said.